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Commentary & Analysis

Big Changes at Mimeo.com

WhatTheyThink has become aware of a number of major changes at Mimeo.com over the last few months. With the recent decision by CEO Adam Slutsky to step down, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talked with Co-Founder and new CEO John Delbridge to get the inside scoop.

By Cary Sherburne
Published: February 26, 2013

After 8 years as Mimeo’s CEO, Adam Slutsky has decided to step down.  According to the press release, Slutsky led Mimeo to 25% annualized growth since becoming CEO in 2005, which is a remarkable achievement considering the state of the economy at large and the printing industry specifically. Few companies in our industry can claim that type of revenue growth of the same period. Slutsky will remain on the company’s board of directors. Mimeo currently has 600+ employees and revenues of approximately $100 million.

Mimeo has also reorganized into three distinct business units, co-founder and new CEO John Delbridge explained: Document, for which Delbridge has primary responsibility and which is the core Mimeo business; Integrated Solutions, headed up by Brian Rooney, which is primarily focused on integrating Mimeo’s systems with customers and partners in the photo and entertainment industries; and another business, Custom Publishing, that produces school planners, yearbooks and does funeral printing. In terms of the Integrated Systems business, Delbridge says, “Our customers take orders using their front end, and we are plugged into the back end for printing and distribution. We have a fabulously efficient back end, and this business takes advantage of that by connecting with other people’s front ends for mutual benefit.”

When asked about his plans for “the new Mimeo,” Delbridge stated that his primary goal is to continue creating growth and driving company profits.  He added, “We restructured the business to create efficiencies and maximize savings, and then we aligned various functions to support our three businesses. We believe that operating three distinct businesses, each focused on its own respective markets, results in optimal service quality, reliability and profitability from each business unit. We have also found hiring sales people and engineers to be great investments and will continue to do so in order to continue driving double digit year-over-year growth. To support that, we have developed an aggressive plan to strengthen profitability and to drive that growth for our business.”  Other objectives are focused around the company’s UK operation and improving the overall customer experience on the web site.

Mimeo, of course, is still a privately-held company. Its  founders are still involved, with Jeff Stewart having a seat on the board and David Uyttendaele acting as CTO across all three business units. An IPO attempt has been rumored for a long time, but an IPO has never been filed.  Perhaps that will change when and if the IPO market becomes hot again. Regardless, Mimeo is a company worth watching. It is a great success story for our industry. As a footnote, Mimeo was founded by technologists, not printers.  Much like Vistaprint, these roots are perhaps a benefit in enabling out-of-the-box thinking that may be difficult for many printing firms that are entrenched in a long history of doing business in ways that simply aren’t working well in today’s dynamic economy.

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.


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