shutterstock_85731097SEONext, an independent search engine optimisation company, have made a high profile addition to their management team, after appointing Andy Holt, former Northampton Town and Oldham Athletic soccer ace, as head of commercial development.

The move marks a huge career change for the former professional footballer, who will be hanging up his boots to join the Manchester-based business.

As part of his new role, Andy, 34, from Stockport will be supporting the company’s sales function – particularly within the sports market – as well as enhancing customer value through the ongoing research and development of its products and services.

Andy said: “I knew when my sporting career came to an end that I didn’t want to rest on my laurels and it was important for me to forge a new path. I’ve always had an interest in online marketing and have been developing my skills in this area for some time. I’m excited by the challenges that lie ahead and feel that SEONext is the right company to support me on this journey. I’ll be working hard to help grow the business and will be taking the team-player mentality of the football pitch with me.”

Mark Blackhurst, co-founder and director of SEONext, said: “We’re thrilled to bits to have Andy on the team. He has a natural flair for sales and an iron will to succeed. He is already used to excelling in his field and we feel there is no better match for his expertise than at SEONext. His appointment will also help to spearhead growth in the sports and leisure market, which is a key target for us in 2013.”

SEONext, which is based at leading technological hub, The Sharp Project, recently announced a 60 per cent increase in turnover, with operating profits of £1.6 million. It has also completed a raft of new hires to support the business’ growth. Key appointments have included: Jason Asante-Appiah, Head of SEONext Local, along withJade Merabi and Joel Williamson, who have both been appointed as SEO Strategy Managers.

SEONext provide search engine optimisation services to over 250 clients in the UK, including a mix of household brand names and SMEs. They currently employ 12 staff at their North West base, and over 180 from their operation in New Delhi. The business also has big plans to open a new office in Australia in the first half of 2013.