Friday, November 18, 2016

News: Kenny on life after Pyronix


PwC Private Businesswoman of the Year 2014, Julie Kenny CBE DL has been speaking about her "four careers" as the multinational professional services network highlights fantastic examples of Yorkshire & North East manufacturing at its best.

PwC's "5 days of makers" features Kenny as she starts a new chapter in her working life. Leaving her Sheffield home at 18, Julie travelled to the opposite end of the country and found a job as a junior secretary in a Cornish law firm. Ten years of part time study led to the second career as a lawyer.

Returning to South Yorkshire, the third career came with a belief in a new security system and in 1986, Julie founded Pyronix in Rotherham.

Based in Hellaby, Pyronix is an award-winning manufacturer with an extensive range of electronic security equipment for intruder alarms. The firm sells around £11m worth of security products to the UK market and new export markets such as Italy, Russia and Poland were identified where the sales success is being replicated.

Kenny was the major share holder and led the growth of the business as chair and chief executive.


Julie said: "Between 1986 and 2016, I was committed to growing Pyronix and in the year of the company's 30th anniversary I have sold my company and terminated my third career. At the time I wasn’t looking for an exit, however, the largest global CCTV manufacturer were looking for a European partner and Pyronix fitted their brief. It was becoming increasingly expensive for a high tech SME company to keep up with the rapidly moving innovation in the world.

"Pyronix is an important employer in Rotherham and last year had a £25m turnover, but each year was investing self-generated profits and this was too slow for the speed of innovation needed. I have left Pyronix confident that my 200 employees will continue with the company, a further 40 jobs have been created following the injection of capital from the purchaser and they are looking to increase their geographical foothold in Rotherham.

"It is now almost six months since I sold Pyronix, I have continued a weekly consultancy for the purchasers and truly believed that I would be able to slow down a little – my partner jokes that he will be happy with a 40-hour week and weekends off. There is, however, still so much to be done; there are my various Board positions and I could never rule out another chapter in my working life, maybe the fourth career!"

Kenny is currently a commissioner at Rotherham Council, on the private sector board of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnsership and involved with the preservation of Wentworth Woodhouse and a host of other local charities.

Pyronix website
PwC website

Images: PwC


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