Retirement and rebirth

Jon Barrett Electronics Sourcing
Jon Barrett, Managing Editor, Electronics Sourcing

Readers of Electronics Sourcing’s monthly leader column will be aware of my interest in demographics, particularly declining birth rates which began in the ‘70s and the unavoidable consequence of ageing and declining numbers of workers and consumers. This process has now started chipping away at the electronics industry.


Over the past two or three years I have witnessed an unexpected number of owners of small and medium sized electronics businesses announce their retirement. This caught me by surprise as it wasn’t something I was used to. However, on investigation it’s obvious.


The origins of many of today’s electronics manufacturing and distribution industries can be traced back to the ‘70s. If early employees started in their 20s and worked their way to senior management and ownership, they will have recently started enjoying their retirement. This ties in with the number of small and medium sized businesses I’ve seen merge with larger organisations as part of the owner’s succession plans.


If you look at the standard ark of any business there comes a point where it is either purchased, develops an innovative new product or fails. Luckily, most of what I have seen are mergers and innovations. In fact, mergers often drive innovations as the purchasing company is suddenly exposed to new technology, IP, skills, experience, customers and market sectors.


Electronics Sourcing regularly reports these mergers in its news pages, followed by subsequent innovations in the feature sections. So, please keep reading if you would like to vacuum up this information.