Vianet Makes New Appointments and Earns ‘Technology’s 50 Best Companies to Work For’ Accolade

Vianet, in football terms, has made a couple of marquee signings in the past six months, with the arrival of Commercial Director Mark Parry and Business Development Director Paul Land. At the same time though, the company has continued to upskill and realign, transitioning players from within its ‘Academy,’ to ‘first team’ duties, as evidenced by two significant internal appointments within the Vending division.

Jo Vinton-Bullwinkel

Joanne Vinton-Bullwinkel has been appointed Product Manager. ‘I joined Vianet in January 2019 as Head of Customer Experience,’ she said. ‘The benefits of getting to know the business through the eyes of our customers have given me a fantastic starting point for my new role as Product Manager.’

Joanne’s mission for the year ahead will unfold in the Vending division of Vianet’s business: ‘I’ll be exclusively focussed on our SmartVend Insight Portal, specifically in ensuring that it exceeds the expectations of both our customers, and the industry’, she said.

Meanwhile, long-standing Vianet stalwart Lou Harston has been handed the newly-created post of Head of Customer Experience, which encompasses both business divisions, with a view to cementing consistency across both areas of the business ‘It’s great to been given such a wonderful opportunity to work as Head of Customer Experience, it’s a really exciting move for me’, Lou said. ‘I’ve worked for Vianet for the last 21 years in the leisure sector, starting as a Customer Advisor back in 2000. I was appointed first to Team Leader, then in 2019 I was made Head of Customer Delivery, Pubs and Bars. It’s been my role to ensure we deliver actionable real-time data, which our hospitality customers can use to their advantage.

‘I’m looking forward to the new challenge’, Lou said, ‘building my knowledge of the Vending Industry and working across both sectors of Vianet to bring both Customer Experience Teams together. My goal is to effectively ‘cross-skill’both divisions of the business, to create a new and improved experience for our customers.’

Lou Harston

And – Stop Press! –  New assignments have been made right across the Vianet Group, including Cindy Shing, who has joined Vianet as Marketing Assistant. Fresh from the University of Leeds, where she studied for a Masters degree in Advertising & Design, Cindy is ‘already bringing some fresh and creative ideas to the team’.

Vianet continues to attract top talent to its business, a fact that has been recognised by bestcompanies. Vianet has been accredited as one of ‘Technology’s 50 Best Companies to work for’ in 2021 as well as ‘1 Star Very Good Employer to Work for in 2021’. ‘We’re delighted to be recognised as a very good employer to work for in 2021’, Harry Chatha, Vianet’s Talent Acquisition Advisor said. ‘We have ambitious plans for our business, and lots of exciting things in the pipeline, but they will be achieved only if we can continue to attract high-quality individuals who can bring something new and exceptional to our team.’


*Interested? Vianet continue their search for talent as they grow and expand across both divisions, and particularly in vending. If you’d like to know more about what roles are available, you can contact Vianet at

More Vianet stories can be found HERE on Planet Vending


About the author

The Editor

Planet Vending’s Editor is Ian Reynolds-Young and it’s Ian’s unique writing talent that has made PV what it is today – the best read (red) vending blog in the world, and vending’s best read (reed). Ian ‘tripped and fell into vending’, in the capacity of PR executive, before launching a specialist agency, ‘reynoldscopy’, dedicated to the UK Vending business. The company continues to represent the interests of many of the sector’s leading brands.

‘It’s all about telling stories’, he says. ‘We want to make every visit to PV a rewarding experience. By celebrating the achievements of the UK’s operating companies, we’re on a mission to debunk the idea that vending is retailing’s poor relation.’

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