Forty years after founding the company, Apprentice lynchpin Sir Alan Sugar is stepping down as chairman of his Amstrad company after completing the task of selling it to BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) last year. After starting with hi-fis in the 70s and computers in the 80s, Amstrad turned to making pay-TV set-top boxes in the 90s. BSkyB became its biggest client, accounting for three quarters of its business in that area, including making the Sky+ PVR.
So much so that BSkyB bought Amstrad for £125 million in July 2007, to take its STB supply in-house, giving Sugar, 61, £34.8m in return for his stake. Sugar will now concentrate on his property businesses and will remain with his Viglen computer maker. There’s no room for sentiment in Sir Alan’s world – a biography link on his company’s website is already producing a 404 error.