Mark Ashcroft, who has worked as managing director of SOLA's UK operation, has been promoted as vice president of SOLA Europe, which is also based in Birmingham. The company has annual turnover of $100 million and 1,400 employees. He has a brief to improve the supply chain to opticians, increase awareness of the choices of lenses open to customers and to understand customer needs. Ashcroft, 47, will report directly to John Heine, group CEO of SOLA International in the USA. His appointment follows the recent resignation of Neil Appleton after 11 years with the company, most recently as SOLA Europe's vice president of retail chains, in charge also of Matrix Europe.