Trevor Wilson, MD, leaving Naim Audio

Really good posts above .......... totally agree we are the 'very nerdy end' most average people would consider us totally 'wacko'.......but mainstream integration with phones/tablets with apps and royalties and co-development must be a real nightmare for a company originally firmly routed yonder analogue bygones.... 

I agree wholeheartedly with what some of you guys have said above.

Please remember that without you - the enthusiasts and  'the nerdy end' of the market, Naim would not exist. It would never have gotten off the ground 49 years ago, and importantly it wouldn't have survived until today.

All that buy products because you love the sound and can hear the difference, I salute you. 

 

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Bob the Builder posted:

Naim is a high end brand making equipment for the likes of Bentley and now I believe the luxury yacht industry it also producers a range 'Muso' manufactured in China to survive it has had to diversify and bring in investors, the days of Ale drinking, bearded Yes and Genesis fans turning out a few amps from Salisbury have passed I'm afraid.

If you want ND555's, NDX's and 272's  designed and manufactured to the standards they have been then this new modern looking Naim that many of you seem so dissapointed in was always going to end up looking the way it does.

In this day and age you cannot expect to keep something like Naim Audio all to yourselves and why should you music is for the enjoyment of everyone and if that means a price range in the shops of £600 to £160,000 then why not?

I disagree.. I think it’s a particularly British disease that assumes companies have to grow and become ‘corporate’ such that they die as they loose touch with their core  customers as they evolve to try and become something they essentially are not  ... British corporate industry is littered with such casualties. Naim started as a relatively niche specialist audio replay/Hi-Fi company for passionate  customers.. it was centred around a passionate leader with a clear direction... and from what I gather from reading some of the posts in this thread from people in the know this wasn’t all about creating  profits at the expense of the passion. Perhaps Naim of the future needs again to be more about less is more and not  detract from the core mission that started and continues to be Naim’s primary focus,  the creation of quality consumer Hi-Fi. I can’t see with the attributes we hold dear that it will ever be a mass appeal company.. but the world is a big place and there is plenty of room for a Naim without it needing to sell its sole.

I really believe for Naim to survive as a company (as opposed to a marketing brand, which is a marketing abstraction that will fizzle away with nothing behind it) it needs to have core Hi-Fi audio replay passion in its leadership, especially at  the very top. You need the vision, with your CFO, or FD supporting you.. not the other way around.

Simon, I agree with you 100%. But, unless we can 'rescue' it, I fear the pressure to become more 'corporate' is already taking effect from the new bean counting focussed owners (who can blame them? its a financial investment -- and they need a good return -- and I doubt they give a hoot about 'snaic shaking')

hence my suggestion 'we' buy this company back. this may sound somewhat romantic and perhaps naïve -- but I don't see any other way to rescue and then nurture the passion we all associate with naim. I fear service levels will also eventually be looked at very carefully -- 'how much money do we make from servicing old products? etc' -- rather than 'how valuable do customers find this and how valuable is the very deep customer loyalty'? etc etc...

time to open your cheque books -- (sorry that sounds so 'old hat')...

enjoy

/ken

Innocent Bystander posted:

I fully agree - and I have seen change where people have been passionare about the business and then that has for some reason disippated (in some cases due to the very business factors discussed here - and whilst they have continued working hard and doing their job diligently, the ‘extra something’ disappeared, quality and efficiency not quite as good, and the drive to be better disappeared so innovation and develepment and eagerness to do more and better dissioated.

exactly...

Board members and choice of CEO will be very important. 

Simon in S, Adam M and Richard D, Kuma and Fred Simon would be my nominees. There also must be some way found to accommodate Berlin Fritz. 

CEO and his right hand man has to be our former illustrious members:

r0ft/guido/wat and Fredrick Fisk/George. 

Where do I send my €10 to?

.sjb

just as a matter of interest, does anyone have any 'insider' info on how much would Naim Audio cost to 'buy', as a going concern.

of course I know its not for sale right now -- I fear a lot more 'ruining' may take place before that happens, but as I say,  i'm just curious...

enjoy...

ken

ken c posted:

just as a matter of interest, does anyone have any 'insider' info on how much would Naim Audio cost to 'buy', as a going concern.

of course I know its not for sale right now -- I fear a lot more 'ruining' may take place before that happens, but as I say,  i'm just curious...

enjoy...

ken

I'm sure you mean well Ken, but unless you've got a really robust and innovative business plan, the chances of you attracting investment for this project aren't terribly promising! I'm out...

tonym posted:
ken c posted:

just as a matter of interest, does anyone have any 'insider' info on how much would Naim Audio cost to 'buy', as a going concern.

of course I know its not for sale right now -- I fear a lot more 'ruining' may take place before that happens, but as I say,  i'm just curious...

enjoy...

ken

I'm sure you mean well Ken, but unless you've got a really robust and innovative business plan, the chances of you attracting investment for this project aren't terribly promising! I'm out...

tony many thanks for chiming in.

do you happen to have an answer to the question I asked?

enjoy

ken

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Ken, if you are at all serious, and I am curious, then the discussions that provide the answer are going to be nowhere near this forum. 

you can assume I know that. but I believe I was quite clear in my question:

"does anyone have any 'insider' info on how much would Naim Audio cost to 'buy', as a going concern."

Its perfectly OK for the answer to be NO. But unless I ask, I will never know one way or the other.

Failing that, I suppose some crude NPV calculation might just provide a hint.

enjoy

ken

ken c posted:
tonym posted:
ken c posted:

just as a matter of interest, does anyone have any 'insider' info on how much would Naim Audio cost to 'buy', as a going concern.

of course I know its not for sale right now -- I fear a lot more 'ruining' may take place before that happens, but as I say,  i'm just curious...

enjoy...

ken

I'm sure you mean well Ken, but unless you've got a really robust and innovative business plan, the chances of you attracting investment for this project aren't terribly promising! I'm out...

tony many thanks for chiming in.

do you happen to have an answer to the question I asked?

enjoy

ken

So the MD is leaving and now the world is caving in and then there's some bloke on the forum who's interested in buying it!! Is it for sale? Seriously! There's a lot of naive nonsense on this thread. MD's leave Companies all the time, Companies change organically all the time - its called progress, did the world end when Julian passed away? As long as Naim hold on to their core values, and why wouldent they as it's their USP, then the Company will move forward and progress. I'm sure Focal are keeping a firm eye on things and probably some commercial imperatives have changed since their shareholding but that's the reality of corporate life and as Bob rightly said things have moved on from Ale, beards and Genesis - thankfully!

ken c posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Ken, if you are at all serious, and I am curious, then the discussions that provide the answer are going to be nowhere near this forum. 

you can assume I know that. but I believe I was quite clear in my question:

"does anyone have any 'insider' info on how much would Naim Audio cost to 'buy', as a going concern."

Its perfectly OK for the answer to be NO. But unless I ask, I will never know one way or the other.

Failing that, I suppose some crude NPV calculation might just provide a hint.

enjoy

ken

I like your thinking Ken. 

 

Mercky posted:
ken c posted:
tonym posted:
ken c posted:

just as a matter of interest, does anyone have any 'insider' info on how much would Naim Audio cost to 'buy', as a going concern.

of course I know its not for sale right now -- I fear a lot more 'ruining' may take place before that happens, but as I say,  i'm just curious...

enjoy...

ken

I'm sure you mean well Ken, but unless you've got a really robust and innovative business plan, the chances of you attracting investment for this project aren't terribly promising! I'm out...

tony many thanks for chiming in.

do you happen to have an answer to the question I asked?

enjoy

ken

So the MD is leaving and now the world is caving in and then there's some bloke on the forum who's interested in buying it!! Is it for sale? Seriously! There's a lot of naive nonsense on this thread. MD's leave Companies all the time, Companies change organically all the time - its called progress, did the world end when Julian passed away? As long as Naim hold on to their core values, and why wouldent they as it's their USP, then the Company will move forward and progress. I'm sure Focal are keeping a firm eye on things and probably some commercial imperatives have changed since their shareholding but that's the reality of corporate life and as Bob rightly said things have moved on from Ale, beards and Genesis - thankfully!

 

If you are considering an application....................

The duties of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a company is to keep the company successful and profitable.

The CEO is the ultimate decision-maker for an organization. 

The Chief Executive provides the framework for the functionality of all departments.

The Overall Framework for the CEO's Role

The CEO has overall responsibility for creating, planning, implementing, and integrating the strategic direction of an organization. This includes responsibility for all components and departments of a business.  

It is also the responsibility of the CEO to ensure that the organization's leadership maintains constant awareness of both the external and internal competitive landscape, opportunities for expansion, customer base, markets, new industry developments and standards, and so forth.

Board of Directors (this is bit where Julian leaves and others take over)

In a typical corporation, the CEO reports to the Board of Directors. The CEO will always serve at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

The CEO may also own the business, and may have founded the business. In this case, a Board of Directors may exist, but its authority is nominal and advisory to the CEO.

General Responsibilities of a CEO

The CEO  has specific responsibilities depending on the needs of the organization.

In general, these responsibilities include:

  • Creating,communicating, and implementing the organization's vision, mission, and overall direction. Leading the development and implementation of the overall organization's strategy.
  •  
  • Leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of other executive leaders. In the process of leading these senior leaders, the CEO makes certain that the strategic direction filters down through the organization to ensure its achievement.
  • Evaluating the success of the organization in reaching its goals. Making sure that each strategic goal is measurable or that the outcomes can be described in a way that an agreed upon picture is shared by the team.
  •  
  • Looking at potential acquisitions or the sale of the company under circumstances that will enhance shareholder value.
  •  Representing the organization for civic and professional association responsibilities and activities in the local community and at the national level.
  • Participating in industry-related events or associations that will enhance the CEO's leadership skills, the organization's reputation, and organization's potential for success.  
  •  
  • Demonstrating the leadership necessary to make the organization's mission a success. This leadership includes providing leadership vision, leadership that attracts followers, and all other aspects of successful leadership.
  •  
  • Creating a learning organization that will continue to grow and flourish and enhancing the skills and abilities of employees. Only if the significant players continue to learn and grow will the organization truly succeed.

Additionally, the CEO must ensure that the organization's leaders experience the consequences of their actions whether through reward and recognition or performance coaching and disciplinary actions. Without responsibility and accountability that is actively expected and reinforced, the CEO will fail to attain desired success and profitability.

PS: I have undelined a few key points !

Yes but what about the perks:

“In addition to a competitive salary and fantastic working environment, we will also offer you use of our free canteen when on duty, on-site parking, pension, regular team building activities and company thank you’s, Christmas shut-down, annual leave increasing with long-service, discounts on Naim Audio products, shopping discounts and much more!”

Jonn posted:

Yes but what about the perks:

“In addition to a competitive salary and fantastic working environment, we will also offer you use of our free canteen when on duty, on-site parking, pension, regular team building activities and company thank you’s, Christmas shut-down, annual leave increasing with long-service, discounts on Naim Audio products, shopping discounts and much more!”

The ability to use correct grammar is clearly not in the person specification. 

I trust that those that read this thread do not take Mark’s post as that which typifies former employees of Naim. In my experience it does not in the slightest. Naim was/is/and will continue to be a fantastic business and I’m very proud to be part of it. I choose to recognise the hard work, dedication and commitment from the team in Salisbury and celebrate it for the good it does, which in my view is considerable.

The Naim ethos regarding audio is still alive and well within the business, at a deep intrinsic level, in my experience.

I wish to set the record straight on the part of this thread that personally reflects on me. I have had several operations in recent times and presently I’m still recovering from the last one. This and my desire to do something different is very real. The ‘facts’ are not correct from the poster.

The customer and music are the reasons Naim makes what it does. The enjoyment of music is key. The people at Naim are what makes Naim and incidentally they’re customers too! The team is evolving and contains considerable experience in Naim and audio, plus it is also being bolstered with new members whom also get the ethos of Naim, our sound and the emotional connection to music. Clare Newsome. joining shortly as Sales and Marketing Director, is a clear example of this for me - her hi-fi system is epic and full of Naim

Of course, we need to make a profit in order to keep the development of the class leading products for today’s and tomorrow’s market, for that I make no apology at all. Indeed, it’s by making a profit and reinvesting that we can make the new streamers etc a reality, something I do not feel is a bad thing in the slightest (esp the ND555 which is awesome!).

To those that have been considerate and complementary to me, for my work and departure I thank you with sincerity. To the rest I wish you farewell and trust that one day you can recognise the good of the now and not live in the past.

Trevor

hungryhalibut posted:
Jonn posted:

Yes but what about the perks:

“In addition to a competitive salary and fantastic working environment, we will also offer you use of our free canteen when on duty, on-site parking, pension, regular team building activities and company thank you’s, Christmas shut-down, annual leave increasing with long-service, discounts on Naim Audio products, shopping discounts and much more!”

The ability to use correct grammar is clearly not in the person specification. 

Person spec for the person who drafted, anyway.

Odd there being no mention of encouragement to listen to music through top flight audio all day long - surely a contribution to wellbeing as well as a perk...  Maybe tge poor MD doesn’t get to do that all day.

I think it is a good sign that Naim have allowed this thread to run with no (or only unnoticable) moderation. Also a good sign that forum members are expressing concern that Naim’s history might get lost in a frantic attempt to survive the future. It shows the passion for continuing the tradition of Naim audio quality remains strong.

Have read quite a few excellent posts by several forum members.  And while I doubt that a Naim employee (or customer) buyout is in the cards, I do think Naim should explore all forms of funding for future R&D.  I think quite a few of us would seriously consider crowd sourcing in exchange for early access to and significant discounting on future products.

Innocent Bystander posted:
hungryhalibut posted:
Jonn posted:

Yes but what about the perks:

“In addition to a competitive salary and fantastic working environment, we will also offer you use of our free canteen when on duty, on-site parking, pension, regular team building activities and company thank you’s, Christmas shut-down, annual leave increasing with long-service, discounts on Naim Audio products, shopping discounts and much more!”

The ability to use correct grammar is clearly not in the person specification. 

Person spec for the person who drafted, anyway.

Odd there being no mention of encouragement to listen to music through top flight audio all day long - surely a contribution to wellbeing as well as a perk...  Maybe tge poor MD doesn’t get to do that all day.

It’s just the standard blurb that you will find in the careers section of the website, rather than being for the MD. The Naim canteen is good though, and an ice cream van comes in the summer. 

ken c posted:

just as a matter of interest, does anyone have any 'insider' info on how much would Naim Audio cost to 'buy', as a going concern.

of course I know its not for sale right now -- I fear a lot more 'ruining' may take place before that happens, but as I say,  i'm just curious...

enjoy...

ken

Ken - the question is unanswerable absent financial due-diligence, commercial DD (industry outlook et al) and legal DD, blended in to a ream of subjective judgements. Think along the same lines of buying a large house/country estate which has a lot of features and running costs (upsides and downsides). NPV doesn't come in to in general terms. I suspect you're aware of much of the following but if not:

The usual template is to derive a 'normalised' level of earnings, whether this be assessed on e.g. on a EBIT or an EBITDA basis. Obviously, weight is given to potential/forecast uplifts in performance/reductions in costs etc, and there tend to be many adjustments to the statutory accounts/forecasts when looking backwards & forwards (e.g. in removing say 'management charges' levied by the vendor/its parent). Where dubiety/uncertainty exists on 'value', aspects like conditional deferred consideration/earn-outs are employed.

Once the cocktail of numbers is assessed (and both the vendor and purchaser employ non-conflicted firms of (often highly paid)advisors), the purchaser will push forward a number - and you can gather they can often come to very different views - not forgetting the purchaser may see highly beneficial synergies. Put another way, the bun-fight begins, and if marketed correctly, there could be several suitors, all with very different lenses on the target and its trading prospects.

In many cases, the purchase consideration frames to x-times the earnings multiple (be this the adjusted EBIT/EBITDA) and each industry sector has a range of recognised multiples e.g. established IT businesses tend to trade ~8x+ (often far higher), whereas some sectors are down to 5/6x (some professional businesses can be as low 3/4x) - if you work back the maths, you can see how investors look at the required return on capital/equity.

..in a very few words, the old cliché applies that anything is only worth what someone's prepared to pay for it (and obviously what lens the purchaser applies). And the commercial world is littered with some catastrophic acquisition failures, even after all that high-cost DD.

For me guys Trevor said it all, time to wrap this thread up.......he took on the rumours, and probably did not need this distraction.

If Naim and Trevor had anything to hide, the last thing I would do would invite forum members to HQ for a deep dive on what’s going on. Let’s just let them get on with the transition.

And before I forget......next time we visit can we have the ice cream van and a posting of our group photo outside with Trevor and the team. 

Richard , that’s now likely to be buried forever without your intervention. Perhaps a Facebook or sending out to attendee,s

Gazza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trevor, thanks for posting and putting things straight.  You'll always be a part of the Naim story and the wider Naim family and we thank you for all you have given towards Keeping Naim so special these past years. Things change, times change, for sure, but for all that there are still so many dedicated and passionate people giving their all at Naim to make the best hifi equipment they know how. That stays the same - Long may it continue that way.

So, I think it's a good time now to draw this particular thread to a close and let them get on with it.

Gazza, well remembered and thanks for the reminder.  I'll make some enquiries...

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