John Sills, chairman and managing director of Saville Audio Visual, has announced he is to retire in April.
Born in Nottingham, the noted AV industry innovator has spent 48 years with the company. He joined the family-owned business in 1968, setting up an AV department at the Saville photographic shop in York, which was the company’s only premises at the time. He then built a nationwide sales team and established a unique network of regional centres across the UK.
His ideas and a fierce commitment to quality and innovation saw the company become a major player in the AV sales, systems integration and rental markets, winning more than 30 national awards. His notable initiatives have included pioneering AV control systems, in-house furniture manufacturing plus the first website by an AV reseller.
As MD, Sills masterminded a management buy-out from the Saville family in 1996. He continued to grow the business, winning many corporate, education and government contracts and taking the company’s turnover past £41m last year.
Sills’ retirement signals another chapter in the company’s history with an MBO by the remaining directors and key members of the senior management team, most of whom have been with the company for 30 years on average.
Following the handover, Sills commented: “I am confident that I’m leaving the company in excellent hands and would like to take the opportunity to thank the entire Saville team for their loyalty and commitment over many years, as well as the suppliers and manufacturers who have supported the company and continue to do so.”
Sales and marketing director Andy Dyson said: “John has been instrumental in building Saville into a major player in the AV/IT installation and live events sectors, and the new management team are determined to build on his legacy”.
Finance director Colin Nixey added: “John is leaving the company in an excellent position following a third successive record year in 2016, and we are planning to continue this growth and expansion over the company’s next chapter”.
With a lifelong interest in photography, cars and flying model aircraft, John is looking forward to a busy retirement, especially with two new acquisitions of his own – a 1939 MG SA and a classic British racing green 1970 MGB roadster!