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37. Steve Buck, managing director, Barbour

Steve Buck

Position last year: 38

Despite having 15 years under his belt at Barbour, managing director Steve Buck still has a long way to go to catch up with the long service of Dame Margaret, who has been chairman of the premium brand for 42 years.

Nonetheless Buck steered the British heritage brand into 2015 in a strong position, having increased annual turnover in the year to December 31 2014 to £167m, up from £152m the year before. During this year, he oversaw Barbour’s transition to a new warehouse management system offering real-time “live” inventory levels, quickly resolved strike action by the brand’s warehouse staff and bolstered his design team, poaching Zalando head of womenswear Paget Billingsley for the same role as it launched womenswear under its Heritage label.

Despite being founded in 1894, Buck also showed that Barbour isn’t shy of innovation, becoming the first brand in the UK to sell to customers directly through Twitter in September. His focus is now on refining Barbour’s product range to ensure the business remains focused and on track for another solid year.

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