Bye-bye John and welcome back

John Bray, Managing Director CITO UK Ltd. will be handing over his duties as Managing Director to Robert Mabbutt.

On 1 May 2020, John will be taking on a new task within our group of companies. He will continue to be available as an advisor. Nevertheless, an important milestone in his life and an opportunity for me to pay tribute to his services for the company. He is one of the people who, together with me, developed the company. We first met in May 1982, almost 38 years ago, at the drupa in Düsseldorf. John is thus one of the last fellow travellers from the birth of the international success of CITO.

Since 1988, John has been an official employee of CITO; initially as a technician, who demonstrated our products worldwide. So we showed John the world and he showed the world our products, and thus very decisively helped to write the CITO success story. He was also the key figure in the development of CITO UK Ltd. At that time, everything was somewhat smaller and certainly not as easy. John travelled tirelessly every which way throughout the United Kingdom, to convince more and more customers of the CITO quality. In 1999, John was then named Managing Director. He has held this position for 21 years and has thus very strongly shaped our British company. When we stand in front of the impressive building of CITO UK Ltd today, and look back at the arduous early years, the numerous hours worked, the thousands of miles, then we do so with a great deal of pleasure and also a certain amount of pride in what we have achieved.

John Bray and Jürgen Mariën
John Bray and Jürgen Mariën

I personally am very thankful to John, not only for his tireless, personal effort, but also for developing a team in Alfreton. I am certain that this young team will continue to write CITO’s story of success. John will continue to lend his team support and advice in the future. I have often sat with John and we discussed the future. We agreed that it is not sufficient to look back at the end of one’s working life to determine that we have achieved a lot. The paramount aim is to develop a team during one’s active time to continue our work. In 38 years of working together through the same period of our lives, John and I have naturally experienced a lot. Hundreds of stories, which many friends of CITO have heard me tell often, but I can say to all: stories are one thing, but when you have experienced so much together, then you feel a great bond.

Funnily enough, John and I arrived in the world almost in the same hour. Presumably, we were born with something which contributed to us taking the same path together. In most things we were very similar and mostly also in agreement. However, our opinion about 30 July 1966 and particularly about the 101st minute of the Cup Final in Wembley was very different. We than finally made peace in 2010, as England was clearly robbed of a goal against the Germans.

I can only say thank you. Thank you John, for your commitment, for the many good discussions, the joint journeys and above all, for your friendship. I am pleased that our professional paths will not be completely separate after your official retirement. I am sure that even if your time as Managing Director is drawing to an end, I will always have an English friend. I hope that we will spend a lot of time together, to laugh about the old stories. It’s good to know that in you, I will continue to have a person to talk to, who helps me in my decision-making. And you also have a bit more time now to work on your golf handicap.

From your friend,
Jürgen Mariën