In Memory of David R Hall BA., HFSCTE 1930-2011
Our friend and colleague, David Hall, sadly passed away on Thursday 6th October at the age of 81. David had been fighting the effects of cancer for many years, always positive, always wanting to help others in a similar position and always wanting to contribute to the Society. He is now at peace and all those who knew him will remember him with great affection and respect for being the ‘Perfect English Gentleman’.
By Dr Roger Blakeway, SCTE President
I first met David in 1991 when he introduced Harmonic to the UK cable industry; very energetic, very committed, technically sound and with total belief in the product but still with a slightly apologetic air of trying to force a sale on me. In the years that followed we became good friends and I have often benefited from his experience and wisdom as well as sharing tales of our past exploits which had some amazing coincidences.
Before I met David, he had already had a very full career being in the Fleet Air Arm during the Korean War. He joined the Solartron Electronic Group (later acquired by Schlumberger) around 1956 as a Sales Engineer, soon rising to Field Sales Manager, and in 1961 additionally took on the responsibility of Product Line Manager for Dynamic Analysis. He eventually became Sales Director Northern Europe for Paris-based Schlumberger Instruments and Systems.
In 1975, David joined Electrocomponents plc as their Managing Director. Eventually retiring from full time work in 1986, he became a consultant for Fairchild Semiconductor on Wafer Scale Integration where he acted as Managing Director, as well as sitting on the Boards of several US acquisitions. From the early ‘90s through into the new millennium he consulted for Harmonic and Tratec, ensuring that their products were introduced and marketed professionally into the burgeoning UK marketplace
He became a member of the SCTE in 1994 and was co-opted onto the SCTE Executive in 1995 to help with the Society’s 50th year celebrations. David chaired the Marketing and Publications subcommittee until his untimely demise. He was made an Honorary Fellow in 2008 for his unselfish and outstanding contributions to the Society and Industry as a whole.
I regard myself as privileged to have counted David as a friend for some 20 years and will miss him greatly. His friend and mentor Tony Ley, Chairman of Harmonic Inc. and an SCTE Honorary Fellow, has a much longer connection and I will leave it to Tony to say a last tribute:
David has been a wonderful friend and a great colleague for nearly 50 years. Known here in Harmonic in Silicon Valley as the perfect English gentleman, he was always charming, elegantly dressed, his Jaguar spotless, free with his professional help and advice.
He had a profound belief in selling as a profession and was brilliant at it. In his early days in Solartron he hired very young Sales Engineers and received the ultimate compliment when many were poached by Hewlett Packard and sent to the US. Later he became an expert in my product line of Dynamic Analysis, and delighted in explaining its concepts and relevance.
When Harmonic introduced its first products in 1991 he came over to teach the company how to sell and for some years managed our booths at exhibitions, and helped create our sales and marketing team. What was extraordinary was the way he retained his enthusiasm for new fields such as fibre optics and video processing, and above all his consistent drive to make the company be its best.
Those who knew him came to delight in being with him. His confidence and enthusiasm were infectious, and he made us all reach for something higher and better. For me he represented the best of his generation. He will be greatly missed.
David with Thomas Lang, Marie, Tony Ley and Bradley Graham