Strix: From Grassroots to Global Giants

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Mark Bartlett, is the CEO of Strix Technology, a global leader in the design of kettle controls and other water and temperature control devices. Headquartered on the Isle of Man, it is estimated that the organisation’s products are used by consumers across the world at least one billion times a day! Mark and his wife, Andrea, relocated to the Island several years ago from Hong Kong, and continue to take the company from strength to strength, while embracing Island life and setting up several new business ventures; including the restoration of a boutique seaside hotel, restaurant and bar.

I’m Mark Bartlett, CEO of Strix Group Plc. Strix has a long-standing history in the Isle of Man, evolving from a small industrial and technology manufacturer to a global company, employing over 900 staff members across the world. Established in 1982 by Dr John Taylor and initially focussing on the design and manufacture of thermostatic controls for small domestic appliances; the company is now a global leader in the design, manufacture, and supply of kettle safety controls, as well as other components and devices involving water filtration, water heating and temperature control, and steam management.

Over the last four decades, the company has become a global centre of excellence in engineering, specifically in research and development (R&D), but also in education and the development of careers in engineering and manufacturing. We work in tandem with other sites across the Group, including our Guangzhou facility in China, to ensure Strix remains a world class operation equipped with R&D and engineering facilities and a rich resource pool. From our original grassroots we are now a London Stock Exchange listed group, with a £190 million Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2017, working with global brands such as Groupe SEB, Philips, Bosch and Morphy Richards.

Strix’s roadmap to net-zero

Inextricably linked to Strix’s continued product development and other commercial initiatives, is our roadmap to net-zero. In 2019, the Isle of Man Government pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and to this end, we have set our own goal of achieving this as an organisation by 2023.

To achieve this, we continue to invest in our infrastructure and associated consultancy services to help support and guide us in minimising our environmental impact. Where possible, solar technology is being used. For example our new Chinese factory has commenced a £600,000 project to install a solar system capable of generating over 10% of its electricity requirement and negotiations with the Chinese electricity supplier for renewable, zero emission electricity for the remainder of the factory’s requirements have been finalised.  Similar conversations have started in Italy for our Italian company premises Laica, and in the Isle of Man renewable electricity will be converted and excess heat energy from our water testing will be recycled and used as heating in our offices.

My role at Strix

My role as CEO requires oversight of circa 900 employees across a range of jurisdictions, including the US, China and Italy to name but a few! My ultimate responsibility is to set the strategic direction of the Group. I work closely with the leadership teams in finance, manufacturing, engineering, HR, marketing and sales, and commercial operations, ensuring strategic performance by our Boards and officers is holistic, aligned and agreed.

It’s an incredibly dynamic role and I’m fortunate to work with so many different people across a variety of backgrounds.

Why the Isle of Man?

Why not the Isle of Man?! My role as CEO was originally based in Hong Kong where I lived and worked for several years. I would travel to the Isle of Man regularly for work and after our children left home, my wife Andrea and I, decided to make the move. Yes, it was a natural evolution of my job, but it was also an incredibly easy decision to make, as every time I visited I fell more and more in love with it!

I love the incredibly varied amount of scenery that spans the Island; whether it’s the quaint seaside towns, the breath taking views from the top of Snaefell Mountain, or one of our many magical plantations and glens – there really is something new to try every weekend. The Island is also an incredibly safe place to live, and this is something my family and I cherish highly – as is the lack of traffic jams! Since we relocated, we have been welcomed not just by the Strix family, but also by the wider community. The talent and available skillset on the Island is of an exceptionally high standard, and we’ve been very fortunate at Strix to be able to capture and nurture this.

My wife and I love the Isle of Man so much that we recently bought the Shore Hotel in Laxey, a small seaside village on the east coast of the Island.  We fell in love with the idyllic spot, based just off the harbour, during the Island’s first Covid lockdown. Our ambitions are to create a beautiful boutique hotel, which will also include a restaurant and public bar area. Although the last year and a half has bought its various challenges, we’ve now converted and opened the bar to the public, while we continue major refurbishments across the restaurant and hotel – so watch this space!

To find out more about Strix Technology, visit:

To find out more about engineering and manufacturing opportunities in the Isle of Man, visit:


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