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Hornby hires Oxford Diecast boss Lyndon Davies as chief executive

By Chris Price

Troubled toy firm Hornby has hired the boss of a model car manufacturer as its new chief executive.

Lyndon Davies will join the Sandwich-based company from Oxford Diecast, which has sold miniature cars and vans since 1993.

The appointment spells the end Steve Cooke’s difficult reign at the firm.

Hornby makes model railways
Hornby makes model railways

It was announced he was leaving by mutual consent last month shortly after revealing the latest in a series of a profit warnings from the company in recent years.

Mr Davies, 56, has 40 years’ experience as a professional in the model and hobby sector and remains majority shareholder of LCD Enterprises, which owns Oxford Diecast.

Hornby has said it is “exploring the opportunity to invest in LCD” with more information to be released at a later date.

Mr Davies was formerly a director of manufacturer Microlink Industries, which went into receivership in 1998 with debts of £2 million.

His first actions have been to appoint Tim Mulhall and Simon Kohler as operational consultants.

Mr Mulhall has spent 20 years as a business entrepreneur in the model and hobby industry, while Mr Kohler has worked for Hornby for 35 years, notably with Hornby Rail and Scalextric during their most successful years.

Interim chairman David Adams said the new chief executive’s “obvious expertise in and enthusiasm for the toy and hobby industry will provide the group with experienced leadership for the next stage of our development”.

He added the company will continue with its turnaround plan.

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