Andrew Bentley (entrepreneur)

Andrew Bentley (entrepreneur)

Andrew Bentley (born January 26, 1962) is a successful British media entrepreneur, former record label executive, and former international management and financial figurehead for some of the biggest global corporations in various sectors. He has also successfully launched various global media startups, including Filmnight Group (now Saffron Digital) and myAWOL. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder of, a new internet music startup that he conceived, defined, and pioneered in 2008.

Corporate Involvement

Bentley first arose in the corporate world in 1984 when he became the finance and commercial manager in Papua New Guinea for British Petroleum Exploration. Soon after, he was named the Regional Finance Controller for the Western Hemisphere, covering Alaska, Brazil, Columbia, and the continental United States.

After getting his start in the financial sector, he moved to Safeway (UK) in 1988 as the Head of Strategic Analysis [ [ IR Homepage ] ] , where he was known for aiding the aggressive expansion. Said expansion was implemented shortly after the acquisition by The Argyll Group in 1987. [ [ Safeway PLC - Company History ] ] While at Safeway, Bentley continuously pushed for expanded consumer research, part of which fueled an extensive overturn in brand repositioning. Bentley's initiatives led to an impressive revenue growth margin, going from 3% to 8.75% and resulting in a 5 billion pound increase.

One of the most incremental occurrences during Bentley's tenure at Safeway was his negotiations with the EU Commission [ [ European Commission ] ] , the leading commission serving all of Europe. During his liaisons, he raised over $30 million pounds in funding. He was also responsible for helping to implement regional support in deprived areas of the north-east, leading to the creation of thousands of jobs.

In 1992, Bentley left Safeway to join EMI Music, where he oversaw the manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution operations throughout Europe. Through his governance, he improved productivity and order fill rate, resulting in an approximate $30 million pound per annum cost reduction.

After saving the company millions of dollars in manufacturing and distribution, Bentley moved up the corporate ladder, serving as the CFO & Senior Vice President of Commercial Affairs for EMI International and Virgin Music Group, responsible for their 37 music companies throughout 5 continents. Shortly thereafter, he became the General Manager / CEO of EMI Asia Pacific.

In 1999, Bentley left his position at EMI to become the President of Electrolux Home Products (EHP) International, [ [ Electrolux ] ] . While at Electrolux, he produced a 34% CAGR in revenue over four years, as well as an additional $1 billion in annual sales. He pushed for global brand repositioning, [ [ Electrolux Sets Its Sights on Asian Market (6/17) - Today's News Updates - Appliance Design ] ] sales channel re-engineering, and was instrumental in new product and technology planning. During his time at Electrolux, he also served on the "Group Management Board", served as "Chairman of Electrolux Kelvinator Limited" [ [ The Hindu Business Line : Electrolux Kelvinator gears up for profits ] ] [ [ Net A Share ] ] (Publicly Listed on the India Stock Exchange), and served as "Chairman of Electrolux PTY" (Publicly listed on the Brazilian stock exchange) [ [ SEC Info - Aktiebolaget Electrolux - 6-K - For 5/20/03 ] ]

Startup Companies

Bentley left Electrolux [ [ Andrew Bentley to leave Electrolux ] ] to launch his own venture, Filmnight Group PLC in 2003 (now Saffron Digital Group). Filmnight, backed by "NewSmith Capital", [ [ Filmnight Backed by NewSmith Capital ] ] delineated into two subsidiaries, namely [ Harmony Media Group] and [ Saffron Digital] . The company acquired various rival retail chains, including The Apollo stores. [ [ Clicks and bricks deal for movie rentals - Business - News - Manchester Evening News ] ] At one time, Filmnight was responsible over 300 stores across the UK. The acquisition of various video rental and retail chains proved to be disastrous, despite the strategy to convert stores into content hubs via mobile delivery. In 2006, Filmnight exited the store business to focus on digital aggregation and corporate rebranding.

Despite its retail opposition, Bentley was instrumental in propelling Filmnight forward as the UK market leader in content aggregation for mobile phones and video on demand (VOD). After abandoning the retail store strategy, Filmnight established various distribution partnerships, including exclusive links to Vodafone [ [ Vodafone UK Selects Filmnight as Exclusive Provider of Film Related Content to its Customers - ] ] , T-Mobile, O2, and Virgin Mobile. The company flourished through its proprietary encoding, integrated mobile billing platform, location search capability, and handset recognition technology, making Filmnight one of the leading UK mobile content agencies, servicing companies like Disney, Universal, Warner, Sony, Channel 4, IPC Media, and EMAP. Filmnight was one of the first companies to introduce VOD in the UK with partner Microsoft. Additionally, Bentley secured WAP partnerships with the leading service providers, leaving the company well positioned for the future of mobile delivery in various markets outside the United States.

Having started and restructured Filmnight to be at the forefront of the digital mobile business, Bentley ventured back into to the music industry with the development of the new internet music startup, [ [ LP33 ] ] . The interactive media website, called myAWOL before its launch [http://www. Techcrunch] , services fans, artists, and venues is still in development and currently slated to launch late in Q3 2008. Information and details about the company are currently unknown, but the company has started garnering press through various outlets like [ TechCrunch] and [ VentureBeat] .

Other Affiliations

In 1992, he was named trustee for the [ Lamp of Lothian Collegiate Trust] , a Scottish regional charity that promoted access to the arts and community-based youth programs. During his tenure there, he aided in raising funds to establish various sponsorship and endowment funds.

In 2003, Bentley was named Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Governors for the [ University of Bedfordshire] , [ [ British School of Osteopathy ] ] a leading UK institution centering around media, IT, and medicine. The university has been noted as one of the best performing of “new universities,” and it has recently undertaken a majority of acquisitions within the sector. Bentley aided in helping its financial turn-around, making it one of the most profitable universities in the UK while simultaneously improving teaching quality. [ [ Our NHS, our future » National working group for Workforce ] ] In 2007, the University was short listed for University of the Year in 2007 [ [ Awards - University of Bedfordshire ] ] by [ The Times HES] . [ [ Times Higher Education - On the move ] ]

In 2007, Bentley was asked to serve as Chairman of the Board of [ myRecovery] a newly formed service to aid those facing addiction problems.

Additionally, Bentley also provides advice and support for various government departments, including workforce planning for the Department of Health.


External Links

* [ BP Exploration]
* [ Safeway Plc]
* [ The Argyll Group]
* [ EU Commission]
* [ EMI Music]
* [ Virgin Music Group]
* [ Electrolux]
* [ Electrolux Kelvinator]
* [ NewSmithCapital]
* [ Harmony Media Group]
* [ Saffron Digital]
* [ myAWOL]

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