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One of the country’s biggest independent print groups, AAB, which owns Pegasus Print and SOS Print + Media, has appointed industry leader Kevin Slaven as its new CEO. 

New AAB CEO: Kevin Slaven
New AAB CEO: Kevin Slaven

Slaven succeeds former long-term CEO Wayne Finkelde, who has now retired. Slaven starts work straight away, his first day will be Monday.

David Macindoe, director at AAB, said, “Kevin is a highly effective and well-regarded business leader in the Australian print industry, and comes to AAB after a successful tenure as the CEO of one of Australia largest printing firms, Ovato.

“The board of directors is confident that Kevin is the right person to take the businesses of AAB Holdings forward into the next stage of growth and success.”

Slaven was the former CEO at heatset printer Ovato, a role he occupied for three and a half years, before the Hannans opted to create a slimmed down business and keep management in the family. Prior to the merger with what was PMP he was CEO at IPMG for four years.

Finkelde stepped down after 22 years in the hotseat, during which time he drove transformation at AAB through acquisition, investment in new technology, and diversification.

With sales of $85m AAB is in the top tier of independent Australian print businesses. It has some 220 staff across the two sites, Blacktown and Alexandria. Its 20,000sqm Blacktown site has four offset presses, including a pair of ten-colour B1s, and a massive Roland 806, used for display work. Manufacturing runs 24 hours a day, five days a week. The Alexandria location hosts SOS, which AAB bought four years ago.

In addition to printing, AAB has a large warehousing operation, including for clients for whom it does no printing, and its FM Supplies business, which will essentially provide anything, with four offices in China sourcing the product.

Finkelde's 22 year tenure as CEO of AAB can only be regarded as a major success. He was brought in to run AAB when it was created as Woolworths spun off its printing arm, the business comprising half printing and half food, at a time when there would have been 100 or more A1 presses in the state. Today AAB is in offset, digital, large format, labels and packaging, with a host of technologically advanced kit.

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