Chief executive who loves his work

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Taking over as chief executive of Planet X is a labour of love for David Hanney.

Having worked as an accountant for the likes of GUS and the BBC, he spent six years at Sheffield-based outdoor clothing and equipment company GO Outdoors as the company’s chief financial officer.

“I had fun at GO Outdoors. After that I wanted to join a business that had brands, a lot of growth and was international,” says Mr Hanney.

“I’m a mountain biker, Planet X was in Sheffield and in a market I liked a lot and was interested in. It was also a really good time to join at this stage in its growth.

“David and Brant have built artisan brands that have generated a fanatical following. We have good, loyal customers that love our products and there is a lot of opportunity to build on that base.”

From Planet X’s point of view, David Hanney’s arrival has come at the right time.

“We had some big step changes moving here,” says Brant Richards.

“The company used to be run by five staff sharing two computers and an accounts package that would crash twice a week. The web site was run off free software. The old warehouse wasn’t as regimented as the current one. We needed someone to steer the ship and see the potential.”

In addition to business systems that can grow with the company and a new web site, Planet X now also has backing from Barclays to underpin its growth plans, which include almost doubling in size by creating up to 50 jobs over the next three years.