Tiefenbrun hands over reins at Linn hi-fi group

IVOR Tiefenbrun, one of Scotland's leading and most outspoken entrepreneurs, is stepping down as managing director of his company, Glasgow hi-fi group Linn Products.

Linn announced yesterday that Peter Murphy will be taking over as managing director, and that Tiefenbrun will become executive chairman.

Murphy has been eight years with Linn and has spent the past 18 months in a variety of senior posts, including group finance director and president of the company's US subsidiary, Linn Inc.

Tiefenburn, 60, started out as an apprentice with his father's firm and has built up Linn over 30 years to be one of the top names in hi-fi equipment, with an international reputation for quality. In 1992 he was awarded an MBE for services to the electronics industry.

The company employs more than 300 worldwide, most at the group's factory in Waterfoot near Glasgow.

Tiefenbrun said yesterday: "I am delighted Peter has accepted the position of managing director and I have complete confidence in his ability to lead and grow the business.

"Peter brought 20 years of business and commercial experience with him when he joined Linn eight years ago and has a comprehensive understanding of the business. He has led Linn's current senior management team for the last 18 months.

"As executive chairman my new role will focus on chairing Linn's board of directors, representing the company at the highest level and helping to develop key business relationships."

In recent years Linn has come to cater for a range of clients in the high-net-worth arena, including luxury car-maker Aston Martin.

"We cover a wide spectrum, from a basic system costing 1,000 to the most sophisticated music system for people who value the best sound quality," Tiefenbrun said yesterday. "You get people paying 1 million for top-of-the-range product and installation. People now routinely pay 50,000-250,000 for a hi-fi.

"We have built the business globally. It is a Scottish treasure. The change recognises the progress we have made over the past few years and the achievements of the management team under Peter."

Tiefenbrun has been an outspoken critic of government which, he argues, "neither understands nor cares" about the decline of British manufacturing.

In a profile interview for The Scotsman in 2003, he famously quipped, "I think I'm going to write a book. I'll call it Shafted: Being in Business in Scotland."

• Sales of electrical goods, such as televisions, have helped the UK's manufacturing sector to its most dramatic rise in output in almost a year, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

March saw manufacturing levels increase by 0.7 per cent, the biggest rise since April last year.