DIRECTOR PROFILES

Nick Hartt, Managing Director

Nick Hartt, Systems Director - Sorion Electronics

Nick became MD in 2021 after 18 years as Systems Director, and still maintains a strong technical role within Sorion Electronics.

Since he joined Sorion in 2003, Nick has been instrumental in assisting with the growth of Sorion Electronics and developing their market leading products and systems. He has a belief in creating flexible end user solutions from common modular elements, reducing risks and uncertainties, and had a significant input in to Sorion’s more recent AMR software developments. 

From his childhood on the Kent coast, Nick developed a passion for computing with his ZX Spectrum which led him to take a Computing ‘A’ Level and later a degree in Computer & Control Systems from Coventry University. After graduating, Nick joined Cirrus Technologies as a software engineer where he worked for 15 years to director level before leaving to join Sorion Electronics.  

The opportunity to start developing a new suite of software from scratch was a driving force in motivating Nick to join Sorion Electronics. Nick’s first objective was to design and develop a guided assembly and traceability system that was cost effective and easy to access and use for their customers. 

Today, Nick has over 30 years’ worth of experience in designing and implementing corporate and automotive systems, from embedded through to site wide logistics and production database systems. He is also an Associate Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, as well as the US Society of Automotive Engineers and keeps a keen eye on the latest automotive technologies and trends. 

After many years in Birmingham, Nick now lives on the outskirts of Wolverhampton, enjoying all things gadget like and the surrounding countryside.

Steve Hayes, Commercial Director

Steve Hayes, Commercial Director - Sorion Electronics

Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, Steve joined Sorion Electronics as Commercial Director in March 2003. As Commercial Director Steve is responsible for sales, marketing and product design.

From a young age, Steve had an interest in engineering and electronics where he would build motorised go karts and amplifiers for his electric guitars. Later, in his teenage years, Steve developed a passion for buying old cars, restoring and modifying them to full working order. 

From an early point in his career, Steve’s ambition was to be owning a successful company by the time he saw his 40th birthday. It was 2003 when Steve achieved his ambition at the age of 44, which although four years later than his initial goal, it was still a respectable achievement. 

Previous to joining Sorion Electronics, Steve worked at Cirrus Technologies where he had joined as a recently qualified mechanical engineer in 1982. During his time at Cirrus, Steve was able to gain valuable experience in the field of electronics engineering and, although already having gained an HND in mechanical engineering, Steve enrolled in night school and achieved a second HND with Distinction in industrial electronics engineering. He progressed from a mechanical engineer to technical director and finally as sales director. It was whilst he was at Cirrus that Steve met Nick Hartt who would go on to become a fellow director at Sorion Electronics. 

During his time as commercial director at Sorion Electronics, Steve believes the toughest time was during the recession between 2007 and 2011 where all of the directors had to make difficult decisions and that the long-term objectives of the company were not compromised. 

Sorion Electronics has continued to grow, expand and invest in its future and Steve is focusing on increasing the company’s customer base, turnover and profits. 

Steve is married, has four grown up children and teenage grandchildren, and can usually be spotted on a canal either walking his dogs or steering his narrow boat.  

Phil Yates, Finance Director

Phil Yates, Managing Director - Sorion Electronics

Phil started Sorion Electronics in September 1990 after gaining 13 years’ worth of electrical engineering experience commencing as an under-graduate at Smiths Industries which later became Lucas Automotive and Industrial Systems.

Whilst working at Lucas, in the early 80’s, Phil was involved in the pioneering voice synthesis warning and information system which was part of the Austin Montego’s and Austin Maestro’s electronic dashboard. The system was designed to warn the driver of potential issues through a 32-word vocabulary with messages such as “brake on”, “fasten seat belts”, “low fuel” and “low oil pressure” which was programmed in 15 different languages. 

Phil’s interest in electronics and engineering came at an early age where as a child he enjoyed helping his father and grandfather to repair cars and other domestic and agricultural electro-mechanical machinery. 

Phil was just 32 years old when he set-up Sorion Electronics and in 2002 he joined with Steve Hayes and Nick Hartt who both became owner directors in 2003. Phil resigned as Managing Director in November 2021 to enable the more youthful directors to drive the company direction for the next generation. 

Phil has a BSc with Honours in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and is an Associate Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology. Phil lives in Stone, has an interest in horology, restoring antique clocks and watches, and enjoys countryside walks in his spare time. 

Rob Horton, Operations Director

Rob Horton, Operations Director - Sorion Electronics

Rob joined Sorion in 2014 as operations manager and was promoted to operations director in September 2016. 

Rob has a wealth of operational and customer facing experience having held key positions in a technical and computing book company, including sales manager and logistics manager before joining Sorion. 

Rob is results driven and is instrumental in ensuring that Sorion is always in a position to meet growing demand whilst continually improving upon the on-time delivery of well designed and manufactured products. Rob constantly strives for operational excellence through ensuring Sorion has efficient work practices and well-trained, motivated and customer-focused staff. 

Since joining the board Rob has provided exceptional results for Sorion, including driving key initiatives in developing a culture of continuous improvement and improving operational workflows. 

Rob is married with two grown up children.  He is a member of his local running club and a lover of the great outdoors.