Paxton Founder Retires

Aug. 13, 2022
Tony Ratcliffe passes the reins to his son.

Tony Ratcliffe, group chairman of technology manufacturer Paxton Access Ltd., is stepping down 38 years after founding Paxton. His son Sholto will take on the role, continuing Paxton’s international journey and his father’s legacy.

Tony Ratcliffe, 73, is a British inventor and successful entrepreneur. His retirement comes after nearly four decades overseeing the company's growth from a small enterprise that launched the TOUCHLOCK keypad in 1985, to a multimillion-dollar international business that exports to more than 60 countries worldwide and secures more than 30,000 buildings annually. U.S. headquarters are in Greenville, South Carolina.

“With Paxton, I have achieved more than I ever thought I could, Ratcliffe says. This is simply because of the challenges and the learning I have gone through. I hope that every employee can do what I have done and follow that path, which is to be challenged, to learn and to get there in the end. The future for Paxton is so exciting, and with the new generation of people coming through, I think there are no limits for the company.”

Ratcliffe’s eldest son, Sholto, is taking over his father's long-standing role as nonexecutive group chairman of Paxton. The company will continue to be led by Paxton CEO Adam Stroud, who has been with the manufacturer for more than 25 years. Sholto has worked alongside his father and Stroud for the past nine years in preparation for this transition.

Sometimes when the founder of a successful company retires, its future becomes uncertain, Sholto Ratcliffe says. It may be sold, restructured or passed to multiple factions of shareholders. My job is to remove that uncertainty in the transition between generations and beyond, allowing the Paxton team to work safely in the knowledge that the company is not going to disappear.”

“One of the major benefits of having secure, uncomplicated company ownership is that we are always able to focus on making decisions for the best long-term outcome,” Stroud says.

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