Security specialist ESP has undergone a change of ownership with founder John King handing over the company keys to new owner Richard Crabb.
King ran ESP for eleven years but after picking up a crippling virus has been forced to put his health first.
Last October King’s health seriously deteriorated, to the point where he was hospitalised with an inflamed heart, fluid on his lungs and problems with a number of other internal organs. “Basically the doctor told me I was lucky to be alive and if I ever wanted to get well again I had to get rid of whatever was stressing me out in my life,” he says.
“There were only two things that were stressing me – wife and work – and the wife was going to cost too much to get rid of.” King says he’s already had four job offers within the industry but has declined them in order to concentrate on getting fit again.
Crabb, who has worked with King for over three years, was keen to take over the business.
“I was looking for an opportunity like this although I’m taking over with mixed emotions – joy at the challenge and extreme sadness at the circumstances that have led to this,” he says.
King, infamous throughout the industry for his practical jokes, says he will still keep a firm eye on ensuring ESP’s culture doesn’t change.
“Richard and I share a lot of the same philosophies – we’re both coin operated – but the beauty is I can now sleep at night and he can’t.”
Crabb doesn’t plan to make any drastic changes to ESP and will spend the next year bedding down the business and making sure staff and customers remain happy.
As for King, he firmly believes he’ll return to the industry in the future, though for now he’s focused on getting well.