The Nine 2023: James Knight

James Knight, The Nine 2023
(Image credit: Future)

Title: CEO

Company: Xilica

Location: London

Why You Need to Know Him: James Knight had little prior experience in the AV industry before joining one of the leaders in collaboration technology, Xilica, in 2020. But he leveraged his extensive management consulting experience to bring a fresh perspective to the business, increasing value while deploying solutions that are easy to implement. 

Knight started his career as a management consultant to large, multi-national businesses in the consumer goods, technology, and hospitality industries, helping companies to reposition themselves based on changing client needs and trends. “Management consulting offers great insight into organizational behavior and the full value chain employed to deliver a great product or service,” he said.

Xilica understands that to be a vendor of choice, we must be meaningfully different and profitable to supply.

Using that experience, Knight joined Xilica, where he currently serves as CEO and has empowered the evolution and expansion of the business, developing long-term strategies to meet client needs now and in the future. One of those strategies was further growing the company’s partnership with Sennheiser, with a strategic alliance with their Business Communication division announced last year. Both companies understand the importance of connectivity and work collaboratively to create impactful systems using a range of tailored products. “We’ve worked closely with Sennheiser to enhance interoperability between the two portfolios and ensure that system deployment can be turnkey,” he said.

Authentic interaction and ease of use are a sustained focus for Xilica, especially when developing future product offerings. Building on its established range of audio products for meeting rooms and educational centers, Knight makes it a point to seek out feedback from Xilica's user base and customer advisory board to improve and scale its technology offerings.

With the industry challenging all to innovate, Knight recommends staying nimble, thinking fast, and always finding ways to support your partners. With Xilica being entirely channel-driven, Knight is proud of its channel program, Xilica One, which offers extensive benefits to their resellers in Pro AV, UC, and datacom. “Xilica understands that to be a vendor of choice, we must be meaningfully different and profitable to supply,” he said.

Even though he ended up in the AV industry fortuitously, he finds himself fascinated by emerging industry trends like the convergence of AV and IT, the blend of communication technology between the UC sector and traditional Pro AV, and the way IT and consumer electronics companies are expanding into the AV industry. He is definitely an AV industry newbie no more.

Meet the rest of The Nine.

Jennifer Guhl

Jennifer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in the New York City area. Within the AV industry, Jennifer loves to explore how technology can alter the world around us, creating immersive experiences unlike any other. She has years of experience working with AV integrators, manufacturers, and event production companies in developing engaging content to increase their overall awareness.