Glasgow born David MacKinnon – the gritty defender who played for Glasgow Rangers, Arsenal, Dundee, Airdrie, Forfar, Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle, has been appointed Managing Director at ZLX Business Solutions.
Since hanging up his boots, MacKinnon has forged an illustrious business career first in licensed retailing at Bass PLC, then as an operations director and shareholder at Scotland’s leading pub retailer, Pub.com which was successfully sold in 2002.
MacKinnon then returned to football as CEO at Kilmarnock FC, Dundee FC; Marketing & Recruitment Director at Clyde FC and Hamilton Academical FC, and most recently as CEO at Greenock Morton FC, where he played a key role in negotiating professional football’s pathway through COVID-19.
Not your idea of a traditional football man, MacKinnon first consulted for fast growing company ZLX, leaders in government backed research and development tax claims, before CEO Stephen McCallion identified in him a dynamic and experienced business expert who could take the company to the next level.
MacKinnon explains: “Although Research and development returns sound rather mundane after the excitement and passion of a football club, in practice the ZLX business model guides clients, almost all of whom are either business owners or senior executives, around the little understood and underutilised government scheme set up to encourage innovation and business developments that can lead to growth.
“Compliance and ensuring alignment with the complexities around the governance set by governing bodies, is key in football, and is equally critical to us at ZLX where compliance is the overarching requirement.”
MacKinnon has already introduced football clubs and various other businesses to ZLX who have gained sizable cash returns that have proven invaluable following the damage done by the pandemic. Many of these have been companies operating in the live sporting and entertainment events, and hospitality industries.
He added: “To reward businesses for their past effort that they thought was just time, money and effort spent on progressing the company, but was actually spent on innovations and process improvements that fall under the umbrella of Research and Development, is personally rewarding.
“Just as improvements in football lead to goals on the pitch, improvements in business development lead to the attainment of strategic business goals.”
“My diverse career has prepared me well. In joining ZLX, I will be able to help a huge portfolio of clients who are drawn from over 40 different industries. And as a bonus, I’ll still be involved in sport by introducing the huge benefits of R&D to sporting entities.”
Stephen McCallion commented: “We are delighted to have David on board. His expertise will be invaluable in showing companies how R&D can play a major role in their business planning and success. I’m sure that working with the ZLX team will be less complex than dealing with footballers!”
ZLX has recently moved into a new Glasgow Head Office and will shortly be opening a second office in London, which MacKinnon will oversee.