UK general manager leaves after spending 13 years at the distributor

Darren Houghton departs Exertis Gem

Darren Houghton has stepped down as UK general manager of Exertis Gem after spending 13 years at the distributor.

He told PCR he is leaving the business due to a combination of different factors, and has not yet decided whether he will be staying within the computing/games industry or not.

"I’ve had a challenging few years personally away from work, and that combined with some significant changes currently happening from a work perspective, has made me contemplate on the fact that I’ve been at Exertis Gem for over 13 years – I’ve had some amazing experiences and have progressed so much both personally and professionally that maybe it was about time that I looked to do something new," Houghton said.

"Regarding next steps, well firstly my beautiful little son is due to make an appearance around the middle of September so my focus will be on supporting Katie as much as I can with that and looking forward to introducing him to his brothers and wider family. Then from October my focus will be on narrowing down the work opportunities and selecting something that’s right for me. 

"I really want to find an opportunity that excites me and something that I can get stuck into again, from either a consultancy perspective by helping businesses on certain business development projects, to supporting brands looking to break into the UK, or possibly jumping back into a fulltime role."

During Houghton’s time at Exertis Gem, he has worked as general sales manager, sales director and more recently UK general manager.

Prior to his time at the distributor, he held a number of different roles including national account manager at BBC Worldwide and senior account manager at Sony Pictures Entertainment. He joined Sega in 1999 and helped launch the Dreamcast console before joining Exertis Gem.

When asked about his funniest or best memory at the firm, Houghton replied: "There are genuinely too many to mention but most have involved some of my dearest friends at Gem: Alan Lynch, Chris Peacock, Gareth Phillips, Jon Sutherland, Colin Pelley and David Waker to a greater or lesser extent in places such as Birmingham, Prague, L.A, Vegas and Northampton.

"A certain night at Peppermint Elephants in Brum with Mr Lynch involving a bet, a Chinese lady and lockjaw will haunt me forever.

"What will I miss most at Exertis Gem? Simple – the people."

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