Mutual agreement sees chairman of Belgravium step down after 19 years

Handheld computer firm Belgravium Technologies​​ has parted company with John Kembery, its chairman of 19 years, following a mutual agreement that he should step down.

The Bradford-based group said that Mr Kembery, 75, had agreed to leave the board with immediate effect following the sale of £393,750 of his shares in the firm.

Ian Martin, previously a non-executive director, will take over as executive chairman.

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Chris Phillips, a non-executive director​,​ will also be leaving the board once a new independent non-executive director has been appointed.

​Mr Martin said: “On behalf of the company I would like to thank John and Chris for their significant contribution to the company over the years and wish them the very best for the future.”

On June 19, Mr Kembery sold 7,500,000 shares at 5.25p per share. Following the sale Mr Kembery and his wife hold 1,711,269 shares representing 1.7 per cent of the company.

Earlier this week, Mr Martin bought 3,050,000 shares at 5.25p per share, giving him a 3.02 per cent stake.

​A source said: “Belgravium needs fresh ideas and energy. Ian Martin is known to a lot of people and he was very successful at media service firm Avesco. He will be good for Belgravium.

​“This was a natural exit plan for John Kembery and it made sense.”

It is understood there was no link between Mr Kembery’s share sale and his subsequent departure as he had alerted the board to his intentions. The timing is thought to have been for technical reasons.

​Mr Martin has worked in the insurance and media industries for over 30 years.

Belgravium said that while he was at Avesco, he led a transformation from a faltering company to a vibrant business, with revenues rising from £50m to £140m.

Last month Belgravium​ reported a slow start to the year after a multi-million pound contract with ​fuel firm Certas Energy fell into the second quarter instead of the first.

The initial order ​of £1.2​m is for delivery in the current financial year with recurring licen- ces.