Jeff Willcocks, CEO of PMC: “Listening is the most important thing we do”

Successfully steering a company through a global pandemic is no easy task for any CEO, but to weather the storm and come out with the company in even better shape is an achievement that deserves to be noted.

Take a bow, then, Jeff Willcocks, CEO of UK loudspeaker manufacturer PMC. Over the last two years, PMC has thrived under Jeff’s leadership. Sales across all its key market – pro audio, custom install and HiFi – have grown exponentially; an entirely new range of professional monitors has been launched to huge critical acclaim; a new factory has been opened to cope with demand for PMC’s popular CI custom install monitors; a new Atmos certified demo studio has been built in London to showcase pro products, a new cinema room to demo custom install products has been opened at PMC’s headquarters in Bedfordshire and new staff have been recruited right across the company, particularly in key areas such as R&D, procurement and quality control.

“It’s all about being nimble enough to react to market changes,” Jeff says. The pandemic meant companies had to think differently to navigate through a period of deep uncertainty. We did that at PMC and as a result we are now stronger, but also wiser.”

An accountant by profession with an MBA, Jeff has held various managerial roles. He joined PMC in 2018 as Financial Director and became CEO in 2020. “What I bring to the table is having clearly defined roles and a clearly defined plan that everyone inputs into,” he says. “Our people are our most valuable resource and recruiting the right people, then motivating everyone to work well together for the same goal, is what really makes a difference.”

Since its formation in 1991 by founders Peter Thomas and Adrian Loader, PMC has always been a market driven company that puts intelligent design and achieving the highest possible quality in terms of resolution and bandwidth at its heart. This is a philosophy Jeff endorses.

“We do our research,” he says. “Listening is the most important thing we do – to our customers and our products. With input from our professional clients and from our own team, many of whom are highly talented audio engineers in their own right, we gain a deep understanding of what’s needed in this ever-changing marketplace. Innovation and new products are the lifeblood of our success.”

The new products driving PMC’s current sales success include a range of compact, state-of-the-art near-and midfield monitors that are redefining the listening experience for audio professionals working in stereo or large scale immersive formats. With a modular design for easy upgrading, these monitors are hitting the right spot because they offer flexible control, great resolution and detail and the same sound signature as the company’s main monitors.

PMC is also enjoying success with its CI Series of slimline monitors, which straddle all three of its key markets. In the professional world, CI monitors have quickly become the standard for new and upgraded Atmos music mixing facilities, an area in which PMC is now the de fact standard having championed the format for music for more than five years as a technology partner of Universal Music Group and Dolby. During this time, PMC has installed systems in numerous top studios including Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, Abbey Road Institute Miami and for renowned producers and engineers such as Josh Gudwin, Andrew Scheps, Greg Wells, Reid Shippen, Dale Becker, NO ID and many more.

“Our Dolby Atmos demo facility in Islington is helping to support our strong partnership with Dolby,” Jeff adds. “In the UK we have producer/engineer Heff Moraes as brand ambassador, and also Phil Millross running our London demo studio where they are helping to support and educate people about Atmos mixing and connect engineers and mixers with studio design professionals. In the US, where we have Atmos demo facilities in Los Angeles and Nashville, our very own Maurice Patist, Head of PMC Pro Global, has become a driving force in this market and has many credits for Atmos mixing on albums such as Miles Davies Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain, as well Swindle’s The New World. As creators of Atmos material, we are best qualified to advise.”

The last two years have presented challenges, but thanks to strong relationships with suppliers and our distribution chain, PMC has successfully navigated the challenges.

“Having strong partnerships and an effective supply chain with suppliers to obtain parts when you need them has never been more important,” Jeff says. “We now have a dedicated Procurement Manager who is helping us with these aims so that we can produce our product in large volumes and at the highest quality. This is helping us to build up stock of many of our products, which are now available for customers when required.”

With the future looking bright for PMC, the focus is now on increasing sales and brand awareness, employing more staff – PMC currently has over 60 employees worldwide – and developing new products for all key markets.

“We are expanding and are appointing new distributors for our products, and of course we plan to bring out new products in the future – watch this space,” Jeff says. “This is an exciting time for the company and I feel privileged to hold the position as CEO of PMC. From PMC’s owner, Peter Thomas, to the management group, and our colleagues, we are very lucky. We do have a great team of people!”

Welcome to issue 7 of Audio Media International