Breaking News: Norbain’s Barry Shakespeare exits stage left

Barry Shakespeare
Barry Shakespeare

Barry Shakespeare

Security News Update: 11.20am- The managing director of Norbain SD Ltd, Barry Shakespeare, has left the company, it was confirmed by the holding company this morning.

Also leaving the company is Huw Edwards, marketing communications director, and Victoria Bori, human resources director.

The news that we first reported this morning has now been officially confirmed in a statement from Nigel Palmer, chief executive of Newbury Investments (UK) Ltd.

Palmer said that the three directors left the company on Friday 14 September 2012 with immediate effect.

“For sound commercial reasons, it has been necessary to restructure some functions and roles currently carried out centrally at Winnersh,” he stated. Winnersh refers to the company headquarters in Wokingham, Berkshire.

We have put a number of questions to Palmer regarding the current status of the company and its strategy, but he declined to answer further questions at this time. If readers have specific questions they would like us to put to the company, please contact the editor directly or leave a comment below.

Norbain pre-pack

The current company, Norbain SD Ltd, was bought out of financial administration by Newbury Investments in a pre-pack administration in July this year.

Barry Shakespeare joined Norbain in November 2010 as managing director to take over from group chairman Alun John who had been acting managing director.

Prior to joining Norbain, Shakespeare enjoyed a 30-year career in the IT and telecoms market. He owns a management consultancy business, Pengate Ltd. He was also the executive vice president of the EMEA division of Westcon, an IT/telecoms distribution company, a position he left in February 2009 following a boardroom shake-up.

Prior to that he held senior positions at Marconi Plc and Nortel.

Norbain goes into administration, sold by administrators in prepack
Norbain Pre-Pack – the story so far


  1. Sad Security Lass on October 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Fear, uncertainty and doubt are all feelings inside Norbain at the moment. People who choose to slander the current employees should be ashamed. We are all waiting for the dreaded phone call to say that we are no longer needed. Show some respect, this is our lives we are talking about. NOT a big game!

    • securitynewsdesk on October 5, 2012 at 11:01 am

      Dear Sad Security Lass,

      I couldn’t let your comment pass without a reply because I do sympathise with your position and I’m sorry for the disruption that this is causing to your lives.

      Please don’t think that our site is treating your situation as a big game – far from it. We are trying to understand, from our position outside the company, what is happening to this icon of the security industry.

      There are a lot of companies and employees of companies outside Norbain who will be paying a price for the financial losses associated with the old Norbain, and I expect we will continue to see the ramifications of the failure of this company for several years to come.

      Best wishes,
      Tom Reeve

  2. Graham on September 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I agree with Tony. Show the poor people at Norbain some sympathy, they are the ones suffering and picking up the pieces!

    My thoughts are with all my friends at Norbain, good luck to you all.

  3. Anon on September 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    The people of Norbain are slowly watching their colleagues they spent years working with walking out the door for the last time. They knew as much as the rest of world at the time it went into administration and have worked hard to rebuild relationships and making sure suppliers do not go under. We take each week as it comes.

  4. Tony on September 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    As a security industry professional of many years I think we should all be thinking of the people still working at Norbain. I have dealt with them for many years working for various suppliers of Norbain and have made friends with many of the Norbain shop floor, non-directors in teams like product teams, sales, marketing and purchasing. Each of these friends whom I have spoken to over the past couple of days are very worried for their jobs. These people have done nothing wrong apart from work hard; now they are at risk of being put out of work.

    I understand why people are angry but people jumping on the bandwagon to give Norbain a good beating is simply hurting good hard working, honest people who quite frankly do not deserve this type of behaviour. These people were all in the dark about the Norbain situation and still are in the dark about the future under the new regime.

    Good luck to all those at Norbain who are at risk of being put out of work, this cannot be an easy time for any of you especially with the bad mouthing comments being bounced around the social networking sites.

    • securitynewsdesk on September 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      Hi Tony – I agree with most of what you said, especially about the effect this is having on the hard-working people at Norbain, but the management and owners have not been very forthcoming with information about the state of the company which makes the suppliers and the rest of the industry uncomfortable.
      – Tom

  5. Mathew on September 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Norbain is probably done. Great oppertunity for other distri’s adn for new companies that can even start about thinking to disrupt the very traditional security market in the UK. Its a good thing that a company like Norbain feels some pain. My 2 cents…. Norbain will not be the player they were before. The market is changing rapidly, the distribution model they used is old fashioned and they do not have the right knowledge. That these people were asked to leave is a positive thing. They made a lot mistakes and wrong choices.

    • securitynewsdesk on September 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

      Hi Mathew
      I wouldn’t write Norbain off just yet. It is a well recognised brand name with an extensive distribution infrastructure. It also has the backing of an experienced and well-resourced parent company which understands distribution. Dismissing some of the management was almost inevitable from the moment they bought the company, because there will be inevitable (and honest) disagreements about business strategy.
      Other distribution companies will have to move quickly if they want to capitalise on Norbain’s weakness because in 12-24 months at most, the pre-pack and near collapse of the brand will be ancient history.
      – Tom

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