Rashid Skaf (of AMX Fame) Is Back — This Time at Biamp Systems

Biamp Systems today announced that effective immediately, longtime AV industry executive Rashid Skaf is assuming the role of president, CEO and co-chairman for the Beaverton, Ore. company. Matt Czyzewski, previous president and CEO of Biamp, will remain as executive vice president of technology. This appointment is concurrent with the completion of the acquisition of Biamp Systems by Highlander Partners from previous owner Lomar Corporation. Lomar will retain a minority investment in Biamp.

Skaf is a well-recognized and respected figure within the professional AV industry. He is best known for his 15 years at the helm of AMX, a pioneer in professional AV and control systems that he grew to become one of the industry’s largest participants and most respected brands. He sold AMX to Harman Industries in 2014 and, after a brief transition period, left to serve as an advisor to various investment groups. He eventually joined Highlander Partners, where he serves as a senior advisor. Highlander Partners is a Dallas-based private equity company with over $1.4 billion under management. Skaf joined Highlander to identify candidate technology companies and Biamp is the first investment borne from that initiative.

Skaf commented, “I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to join another truly iconic brand in the AV industry. Even while CEO of AMX, I was intimately familiar with Biamp and developed deep respect for its products, brand, and organization. So much so that I sought to acquire the company several times over the past 10 years. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join and lead the Biamp team. I have no doubt that together we will usher Biamp into an exciting new period of growth and industry leadership that will benefit the company and its employees and channel partners.”

See also  Prysm In Financial Trouble, Could Shut Down Early Next Year

Mike Nicolais, vice chairman and CEO of Highlander Partners stated, “Highlander’s investment philosophy is to buy and build. It seeks to build value in enterprises by finding well run, profitable businesses in healthy industries that have the potential for significant future growth through both organic expansion of the existing business and strategic additions of complementary acquisitions. Biamp is an excellent platform company to implement that same strategy in its industry.”

Skaf added, “Biamp is one of the most successful professional audio management companies in the world. Despite its undeniable leadership position, I see clear opportunities to grow market share of its current products and expand into new markets through an aggressive program of internal development and company acquisition. I will soon reach out to the many excellent suppliers and industry partners Biamp works with today, and those others I worked with in the past, to build a passionate community committed to meeting mutual growth objectives. I consider the excellence of our extended community of partners to be a critical factor in the future success of Biamp.”

Biamp is here.

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..