Paxton founder Tony Ratcliffe retires

Issue 5 2022 Editor's Choice, Access Control & Identity Management, News

38 years after founding Paxton, Tony Ratcliffe, group chairman of the technology manufacturer, is stepping down. His son, Sholto Ratcliffe, will continue Paxton’s international journey and his father’s legacy.


Tony Ratcliffe.

Tony Ratcliffe, 73, is a British inventor and successful entrepreneur. His retirement comes after nearly four decades overseeing the company's growth from a small enterprise launching the humble Touchlock keypad in 1985, to a multimillion-pound international business that now exports to over 60 countries worldwide and secures over 30 000 buildings annually.

Ratcliffe said: “With Paxton, I have achieved more than I ever thought I could. This is simply because of the challenges and the learning I have gone through. I hope that every employee can do what I have done and follow that path, which is to be challenged, to learn, and to get there in the end.

“The future for Paxton is so exciting, and with the new generation of people coming through, I think there are no limits for the company.”

Business as usual

Tony’s eldest son, Sholto Ratcliffe, is taking over his father's role as non-executive group chairman of Paxton. The company will continue to be led by Paxton’s CEO, Adam Stroud, who has been with the manufacturer for over 25 years. Sholto has been working alongside Tony and Adam for the past nine years in preparation for this transition. In addition to his role as non-executive group chairman of Paxton, Sholto runs his own recording studio in London, where he balances both the technical and business aspect of the studio.

Sholto said: “Sometimes when the founder of a successful company retires, its future becomes uncertain. It may be sold, restructured or passed to multiple factions of shareholders. My job is to remove that uncertainty in the transition between generations and beyond, allowing the Paxton team to work safely in the knowledge that the company is not going to disappear.”

Stroud said: “One of the major benefits of having secure, uncomplicated company ownership is that we are always able to focus on making decisions for the best long-term outcome.”

Over the last 12 months, Paxton has beaten all previous production records in its manufacturing facility based in Eastbourne, Sussex. This is due to a rise in customer demand and significant investment into new solutions which are developed at the Paxton Technology Centre.

The Paxton Technology Centre is based next to its UK head offices in Brighton, Sussex. Paxton’s Brighton campus is currently going through an expansion as the company is refurbing another building it recently acquired, the Paxton Electronics Centre. The new building was bought to accommodate an additional electronics manufacturing facility so Paxton can meet expected growth over the next decade.


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