Claude Littner, Chairman |
Lord Sugar, Former Chairman and major shareholder
Bordan Tkachuk, Chief Executive
Viglen Ltd provides IT products and services, including storage systems, servers, workstations and data/voice communications equipment and services.
The British company was formed in 1975 by Vigen Boyadjian and was acquired by Alan Sugar (later Lord Sugar)'s company Amstrad in 1994. During the 1980s the company specialised in direct sales through multi-page advertisements in leading computer magazines, catering particularly, but not exclusively, to owners of Acorn computers.
In 1997, it was listed as a public limited company and Amstrad plc shares were split into Viglen and Betacom shares, Betacom being renamed to Amstrad PLC. Following the sale of Amstrad PLC to Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB, Viglen is now Lord Sugar's sole IT establishment. Viglen is run by CEO Bordan Tkachuk, a longtime associate of Lord Sugar, who can be seen making special guest appearances on The Apprentice.
Viglen focuses particularly on the education and public sectors, selling both desktop and server systems. Viglen also has interests in other IT markets such as managed services, high-performance clusters, and network-attached storage.
On 1 July 2009, Lord Sugar resigned as the chairman of Viglen (and most of his other companies), handing over the reins of the company to longtime associate Claude Littner.
In the early 80s, Viglen also manufactured baby incubators as well as leather coin purses for London Transport. These items were made alongside computer systems in the Trumpers Way factory in Hanwell, West London. As the computer systems business grew the purses and incubators were eventually phased out.
The new headquarters doubles up as one of the filming locations for the hit BBC show The Apprentice, with various scenes including the infamous "job interviews" being set there. The "walk of shame" exit sequence at the end of every episode, showing the contestant leaving the building and boarding a taxi is also filmed at the Viglen Headquarters. The boardroom scenes are actually filmed in a West London television studio.
On 15 December 2010, CEO Bordan Tkachuk, during a mock "interview" situation on The Apprentice, told a candidate that "ISP" stood for "Internet Service Protocol" (instead of Internet Service Provider), resulting in widespread criticism:
"I know what ISP is. It's an Internet Service Protocol. And that's what you're providing. It's not a telecoms operating licence. It's a protocol that allows telecoms over bandwidths.
"I've been running Alan Sugar's companies for the last 25 years, and that's why I know a little bit about technology."
- Barry Collins, Why Lord Sugar needs to fire his "technical expert" 16 December 2010 PC Pro Retrieved 24 May 2012