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Rashid Skaf takes top job at Biamp following private equity acquisition

AV industry veteran Rashid Skaf is assuming the role of president, CEO, and co-chairman of Biamp, effective immediately. Matt Czyzewski, previous president and CEO, will remain as executive vice president of technology.

The Beaverton, Orgeon company has been acquired by Highlander Partners from its previous owner Lomar Corporation, which will retain a minority investment.

Best known for his 15 years at the helm of AMX, Skaf is a well-recognised and respected figure within the professional AV industry. Under his leadership, AMX grew to become one of the industry’s largest participants and most respected brands. He sold AMX to Harman Industries in 2014 and, after a brief transition period, left to serve as an advisor to various investment groups. He eventually joined one of these firms, Highlander Partners, where he serves as a senior advisor. Highlander Partners is a Dallas-based private equity company with over $1.4 billion under management. Skaf joined Highlander to identify candidate technology companies; Biamp is the first investment to arise from that initiative.

Skaf commented: “I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to join another truly iconic brand in the AV industry. Even while CEO of AMX, I was intimately familiar with Biamp and developed deep respect for its products, brand, and organisation. So much so that I sought to acquire the company several times over the past 10 years. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join and lead the Biamp team. I have no doubt that together we will usher Biamp into an exciting new period of growth and industry leadership that will benefit the company and its employees and channel partners.”

Mike Nicolais, vice chairman and CEO of Highlander Partners, stated: “Highlander’s investment philosophy is to buy and build. It seeks to build value in enterprises by finding well-run, profitable businesses in healthy industries that have the potential for significant future growth through both organic expansion of the existing business and strategic additions of complementary acquisitions. Biamp is an excellent platform company to implement that same strategy in its industry.”

Skaf added: “Biamp is one of the most successful professional audio management companies in the world. Despite its undeniable leadership position, I see clear opportunities to grow market share of its current products and expand into new markets through an aggressive programme of internal development and company acquisition. I will soon reach out to the many excellent suppliers and industry partners Biamp works with today, and those others I worked with in the past, to build a passionate community committed to meeting mutual growth objectives. I consider the excellence of our extended community of partners to be a critical factor in the future success of Biamp.”

Biamp was inducted into the Installation Hall of Fame at the 2016 InstallAwards.