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Alan Sugar leaves Amstrad

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Sir Alan Sugar is leaving Amstrad a year after he sold the set-top box maker business to BSkyB.

The man who introduced the world - or at least the UK - to the joys of the twin VCR, the hi-fi separates system that is actually one big card-boardy box, and of course the PCW has relinquished the chairmanship of the company, which bears his initials.

Sugar sold the firm, which essentially concentrates on set-top boxes, to BSkyB last year for £125m. As was noted at the time, Sugar and Sky boss Rupert Murdoch go way back, to when Sugar headed up Tottenham Hotspur and Murdoch was battling to get the rights to show top-flight matches on Sky.

Luckily Sugar isn't actually retiring, and the UK business world won’t be completely bereft of the 61-year-old's talents. Amstrad is just one of the companies carrying Siralun’s name (AMS = Alan Michael Sugar TRADing. Geddit?). He’ll still be running his Amsprop, Amsair and Viglen computer businesses. Sugar’s real money is apparently in property these days, though Viglen surely qualifies as one of the oldest players in the UK PC market now.

And of course, he’ll continue to perform a vital service to UK industry and commerce by being the boss on The Apprentice, thus ensuring a constant stream of idiots, charlatans, liars, megalomaniacs and big mouths are safely diverted away from actual careers in business, and into the sort of Z-list celebrity roles they’re actually suited for. ®

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