Defence electronics industry executive takes up new role as IoD South West vice-chair

July 2, 2021

A business mentor, coach and advisor who spent much of his career in the Bath area’s defence electronics industry has become vice-chair of the Institute of Directors’ South West region.

In his new role, Steve Hill, pictured, will support the transition to a new chair later this year when current chair Muir Macdonald steps down at the end of his three-year term.

Steve is a qualified Chartered Director and volunteer ambassador representing the SME community in the region.

He started his career as a student apprentice with UK electronics group GEC Marconi in Essex in the 1980s, where he worked for 16 years in a variety of roles up to director.

Having moved into project management and business leadership, and also attained a post graduate degree in project management, he moved to Somerset in 2000 to take up his first executive role, working for a division of Thales (then Racal) in Wells, leading and improving its project management activities.

During this time he completed the IoD Diploma in Company Direction and went on gain the accreditation of Chartered Director.

He took up his first managing director role in 2002 and lead a number of Thales businesses in the UK.

In 2011, he joined the Cohort group as managing director of defence electronics group SEA, one of its subsidiaries based in Beckington, near Frome.

Under his leadership SEA grew both profitably and in overall size, increasing its customer base from the UK to include those from several overseas countries. 

Late last year Steve decided to step down from his role leading SEA to build a portfolio career supporting other businesses, aiming to share the knowledge he has built up to help others succeed.

He said: “The IoD has been such a big part of my professional development and therefore I am delighted to be stepping into a position in which I can support members in the region even further beyond my ambassador role.

“It’s a key time for the economy as we continue to get back on our feet and good governance and leadership will be critical.”

Muir Macdonald, pictured, a former Ministry of Defence senior project manager, said: “I have had the pleasure of working alongside Steve since early in the year when he came on board as ambassador.

“He has all the qualities we could wish for as we continue strengthen the region's leadership to get close and stay close to our members.

“With a fabulous group of ambassadors, the IoD’s team building gradually, and the Covid restrictions lifting, the future is looking even brighter here in the South West.”

Muir, who was also managing director of Bath-based BMT Defence Services, stands down this autumn.

The IoD has around 1,200 members across the South West.

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