Changes at the top of a Newcastle firm that supplies gaming machines throughout the UK will see the company embrace the digital age while building on an established reputation.
Nick Rudd, previously operations and marketing director, has taken over from his father as managing director of Bob Rudd Gaming & Amusement Machines, and will soon complete a management buy out to become the main shareholder of the company.
The firm’s founder and previous MD Bob Rudd, meanwhile, has stepped into the role of chairman and will remain an integral part of the business.
Bob said: “I’m past retirement age and Nick has shown tremendous capability and acumen in grasping the management of a very complex industry. He has been involved in the business throughout his formal education, even while at university doing a business degree.”
Nick said: “The move gives my dad a reward for the work he’s put in, building up a solid company over the last 25 years.
“We want him to stay on the board as long as he physically can while I take on more financial responsibility. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Established in 1989, the company, which employs around 120 people, supplies fruit machines, jukeboxes, quiz machines and pool tables to pub companies, ranging from small independents to bigger names like JD Wetherspoon.
It has enjoyed year-on-year growth and in the last seven years has doubled turnover to around £7m.
Currently, the firm, whose focus on quality ensured it was unscathed by the recession, has five locations - Newcastle, Warrington, Leeds, Keswick and Newark - the latter operation of which is soon to be relocated to the Nottingham area to allow greater UK coverage.
Nick has also been involved in growing the firm’s research and development programme and is hoping to expand its online presence, increasing the use of social media in particular.
Bob said: “Hopefully, he will take the company forward as we look to grow our online business.”