Stepping down at the top – with record results

One of the key characters in the Yorkshire technology sector is to retire after forty-five years – as the company announces record trading results for 2014.

Born and raised in York, sales and marketing director Ed Everard joined York photographic business John Saville and Sons in 1970, at the age of seventeen. After many turbulent early experiences, he progressed to the firm’s professional audio visual department and alongside MD John Sills, helped to build the award-winning national network of Saville Audio Visual.

During that time, the company has kept faith with the city and continues to invest in new technology at its high tech headquarters at Nether Poppleton. As one of the region’s largest technology-based employers, its customers include many of the UK’s biggest blue-chip businesses and public sector organisations, from the likes of BAE Systems and Lloyds Register to top universities, government departments and the NHS.

From a figure of £106k in 1970, Ed’s energy helped the company’s turnover grow to £16 million by the 1990s and now to a new landmark of £40 million. He joined the board in 1986 and became part of a three-man management buyout team in 1996. During the next two decades, his mantra has been to consolidate the company’s brand and reputation as the UK’s leading audio visual supplier.

He has also seen the company develop an international reputation for live event services in the UK and abroad. The events team at Nether Poppleton has provided the staging facilities for the prestigious Press Business Awards and the York Community Pride Awards for almost twenty years.

Asked about the timing of his decision, he said: “This seems like the right time for me, as we prepare to announce record trading results for 2014. I also want to make room for new talent to take up the mantle.”

He said: “Like many specialist high tech businesses, we were faced with serious challenges during the difficult financial climate seven years ago. I’m pleased to say we approached the problems with a positive attitude and managed to ride it out. Today we are continuing to invest in new technology and expand our business operations.”

Ed is currently President-elect of the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and is looking forward to helping other local SMEs to grow and prosper. He added: “I’m happy to be handing over the commercial reins here knowing that the company is moving forward in great shape. I’ll continue to be involved in a limited consultancy role, mainly helping with the group’s marketing strategy.”

He added: “I would especially like to thank our MD John Sills who has been like a big brother to me over the years, plus my colleagues on the Saville board and the entire Saville team, who have been a joy to work with.”