Sir Alan quits as chairman of Amstrad after 40 years
SIR Alan Sugar last night announced he has stepped down as chairman of Amstrad.
However, the self-made multimillionaire, best known in recent years as the no-nonsense boardroom chairman in BBC reality TV show The Apprentice, insisted he is not retiring.
And he said the move was planned following the company's acquisition by Sky in 2007. He will continue to be involved with his other business interests, which include Amshold, Amsprop, Amsair and Viglen computers.
Sir Alan said: "This is a move that has been planned for a while and it's the right time for me to step down from Amstrad.
"The past 40 years have seen Amstrad grow from a start-up business to the success story that it is today, which is credit to the talented and loyal team here."
For the last ten months, Sir Alan has liaised directly with Alun Webber, Amstrad's managing director, who took over the day-to-day running of the company last year and who combines the job with his role as Sky's group director of strategic project delivery.
Sir Alan added: "Alun has worked closely with Amstrad over a number of years and is the right person to build on the success that we have seen to date. I step back knowing that the company's future is in good hands."
Coming from a humble background as the son of an East End tailor, Sir Alan, aged 61, has achieved a net worth of 830 million which places him 92nd in Britain's 2008 rich list. He left school at 16 and founded Amstrad – Alan Michael Sugar TRADing – at the age of 21.
He managed to undercut his competitors in electronic manufacturing and by 1980 Amstrad was floated on the London Stock Exchange. He sold the firm to BSkyB in a 125 million deal last year, earning him 34.5 million.
Sir Alan still owns Amsprop, an airline catering for private flights, Amsair, and an IT company, Viglen.
However most of his wealth now comes from his property portfolio, rather than business ventures.
He also chaired Tottenham Hotspur FC from 1991 to 2001 after a takeover battle with Robert Maxwell.
It was in 2000 he was knighted for his services to business.
He will be back on TV screens starring in a fifth series of The Apprentice next year.
He has also been touted as a possible candidate for the London mayoral elections in 2012.
Already serving Gordon Brown in an advisory capacity, he is seen as an ideal candidate by Labour strategists, who are keen to recruit a senior businessman for the race.
Earlier this month he claimed he was "the right kind of person" for the job.
He continued: "Common sense prevails that someone like me who tends to cut to the chase, would be right to look after a city like London."
Year Sir Alan Sugar was born in the east end of London
Age he left Brooke House School in Hackney
Price of a van from which he starting selling car aerials
Age Sir Alan was when he sold Amstrad to Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB for about 125 million
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