Former footballer appointed managing director at ZLX


Glasgow born David MacKinnon – the defender who played for Glasgow Rangers, Arsenal, Dundee, Airdrie, Forfar, Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle – has been appointed managing director at ZLX Business Services.

Since hanging up his boots, he forged a career first in licensed retailing at Bass, then as an operations director and shareholder at Pub.com, which was sold in 2002.

MacKinnon then returned to football as chief executive at Kilmarnock FC and Dundee FC, then marketing and recruitment director at Clyde FC and Hamilton Academical FC, and most recently as chief executive at Greenock Morton FC.

He first consulted for government-backed research and development tax claims specialist ZLX before chief executive Stephen McCallion chose to sign him up permanently.

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.”



David MacKinnon back when he played for Glasgow Rangers
David MacKinnon back when he played for Glasgow Rangers

MacKinnon has already introduced football clubs and various other businesses to ZLX, which have gained cash returns that have proven invaluable following the damage done by the pandemic.

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.

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“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.”

McCallion commented: “David’s expertise will be invaluable in showing companies how R&D can play a major role in their business planning and success.”

ZLX has recently moved into a new Glasgow head office and will shortly be opening a second office in London, which MacKinnon will oversee.

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