File image: IOL.
JOHANNESBURG - Listed Allied Electronics Corporation (Altron) yesterday announced that one of its longest-serving executives and founder, Dr Bill Venter, has retired.

Altron said Venter, who founded the company in 1965, left his position as a non-executive director yesterday. He stepped down as non-executive chairperson in February last year.

Altron said Venter had been an integral part of its operations since he, as a 33-year-old telecommunications engineer, and several colleagues founded United Electric, which was renamed Allied Electric.

It said the group had grown from a designer and manufacturer of semiconductor rectifier equipment, battery chargers, inverters, variable speed drives, DC motor controls, DC power supplies, electronic signal equipment and transformers to become one of the leading ICT solutions providers on the continent.

Altron chairperson Mike Leeming yesterday paid tribute to Venter for his contribution.

“Dr Venter has played an important and central role in the development of the South African electronics industry and the country’s economy as a whole,” Leeming said. “The board expresses its utmost gratitude to Dr Venter for his entrepreneurial skills, leadership and significant contribution to Altron over the years.”

Leeming said Venter confirmed his confidence in the board and its leadership.

He said Venter would remain a significant shareholder.

Last year, Altron appointed Mteto Nyati as its new chief executive, taking over from Venter’s son, Robert.

The group has sold some of its non-core assets in Powertech to concentrate on the ICT sector.

Venter has received many accolades from the private and public sectors, including the coveted Life Time Business Achiever Award in 2006 and the Life Time Achiever Award from the Minister of Science and Technology for his contribution to the industry in 2009.

Altron rose 0.71percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R15.70.

- BUSINESS REPORT