ICD is mourning the loss of its Chairman Mike Woodhall, who sadly lost his long battle with Parkinson's disease on June 8th.
Mike was the founder of IDC and built up the company over 40 years, helping make the business what it is today.
He began his career at Ford Motor Company and later moved to GEC. In 1972, he started IDC as a one-man operation, working from his Maidenhead home, where he had a studio. As the contracts began to roll in, Mike started taking on staff and later moved to more suitable premises in Datchet.
At a time when mass-produced domestic products were on the increase, IDC took a significant chunk of the domestic design business. This soon progressed to sophisticated electronics products and one of Mike's landmark projects came in 1975 when he designed the world's first computer controlled digital scanner. This was the beginning of IDC's reputation for high-tech products which has developed to include the multi-award-winning medical products of today.
Projects Director, Brian Gough, remembers the early days of IDC and Mike's commitment to staff and the company.
He said: "I've been privileged to have known and worked with Mike for over 30 years and to call him my friend and mentor. There were so many facets to Mike: he was a great designer; he gave very many people (including me) the 'head room' to grow and develop; had a love of art and history and he had a great (some might say wicked) sense of humour. Everyone who knew him will remember the sparkle in his eye and the great times they had with him. He will be remembered often and with great affection."
Besides his intelligent approach to design, Mike had a talent for building relationships with customers and was able to communicate exactly what the client required through clever design. This was particularly apparent at the end of the '70s and early '80s when IDC was developing as an international design consultancy. Mike built a special relationship with Indian domestic appliance giant, Godrej and plastics manufacturers, Shaily Plastics. Mike worked in India alongside their design teams to not only design their products, but also to act as a trainer working with their in-house designers. Mike's work enabled us to transform our business and develop our most successful products yet.
Mike stepped down as MD in 2006, when Stephen Knowles took over the company. Since this time he has continued to provide valuable input to IDC at board level as Chairman.
Stephen Knowles stated: "Mike is an irreplaceable part of IDC and will be remembered by all who knew him for his spirit, tenacity and sense of mischief. As well as being a great designer and businessman, he was an incredible mentor, a true gentlemen and a great friend. He will be terribly missed."
Read IDC's official obituary here.