10 May 2024

Simon Brown to step down as Managing Director

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After more than 40 years with the company, Amazone Ltd announce the retirement of their managing director, Simon Brown. Simon left Harper Adams in 1981 with a HND in Agricultural Engineering and, after a brief spell within the dealer network, joined Amazone Ltd.’s parent company, Amazonen-Werke in 1982 where he travelled extensively in Germany as a field service engineer. Returning back to Britain in April 1983, Amazone Ltd, with its founding members, Rod Baker, Peter Murray and Simon, opened its doors in Easter that year and launched to the press and dealer network at the National Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh.  

In those early years Simon looked after both parts distribution and field service for the whole of Britain as the brand continued to grow with the introduction of iconic products such as the ZA-U 1501, the Super Jet 1600 boom spreaders and the D7 seed drill.

Simon left his spanners behind and embarked on a career in sales, taking over the Yorkshire, East Midlands & East Anglia area, moving from Gloucestershire up to Lincolnshire to enable him to canvas his new area. To support the growing business with spare parts and service, Amazone took the strategic decision to open up satellite depots in Linlithgow, West Lothian and Harworth, South Yorks. But as the transport network improved, the decision was taken to make Harworth the home of Amazone Ltd.

In 2002, Simon returned to his service roots becoming National Service Manager based at Harworth. At this time, Amazone was also the importer for Krone hay & forage products, Strautmann diet feeders and Elho bales wrappers, the service support for which also came under Simon. The Amazone product portfolio continued to grow with an ever-widening range of sprayers and cultivators being added to the spreaders and seeding systems. The distributio

n agreements with third party suppliers was terminated and Simon put his extensive product knowledge to use by taking over as Brand Manager, a position he still holds today alongside his current role as Manging Director.

Amazone Ltd moved just up the road in 2019 to their purpose-built, 30-acre, state-of-the-art, Training, Education & Research Centre at Orchard Farm, Auckley which, along with its commercial farming enterprise, provides the ideal infrastructure to train dealers and end users, showcase new and existing products as well as carrying out field trials based on existing and future products in the Amazone range.

Managing the stand at Cereals 2024, this year to be held at Newnham Hall, Bygrave Woods, Hertfordshire, will be Simon’s last task and so Amazone would be delighted to welcome anyone whose paths have crossed with Simon over the last 40 years to come and reminisce about the vast changes that have taken place in the agricultural machinery world!

‘It will be odd not having Simon around supporting the business after so many years. We are though extremely happy that Simon has used his foresight to build up a professional team around him which will secure an efficient handover to the following management” comments Christian Dreyer, Chairman of the Board and Owner of the AMAZONEN- Werke.

Matt Smith, currently National Sales Manager, will take over the role as Managing Director following Simon’s retirement, ‘I am delighted to be taking on the role from Simon and in the past few months the business has been evolving to function without him which means that we are well placed to continue supporting both customer and dealer’, adds Matt. Jane Braun takes over in the new role of Operations Manager, looking after parts and whole goods distribution, Becky Drobnica joins as Admin & HR Manager, whereas Rob Watson continues as National Aftersales Manager and John Spencer continues to hold the purse strings. Additionally, two new Harper Adams graduates have joined the team with local farmer’s son and photography whizz kid, David Thomson coming in as Marketing Specialist and James Rogers as Business Support Specialist.

‘We have such a great, long-serving team here at Amazone who have a vast depth of knowledge and experience and the beauty of Matt taking on the mantle is that it ensures the continuity of the business for next generation and I wish him all the best for the future’ concludes Simon. ‘Of course, I will still be keeping an eye on things from the outside making sure they are doing it all properly’, adds Simon.

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Matt Smith will take over a Managing Director of Amazone Ltd. in June