VALE, GEOFF MATTHEWS
We at StereoNET announce with a deep sense of sadness and loss that industry stalwart, Convoy International CEO, Geoff Matthews, passed away on February 28th after succumbing to complications due to a long illness.
StereoNET joins the entire Australian audio industry and many audiophiles to extend our deepest sympathies to Geoff’s wife Kay and their two sons, David and Tim.
Geoff Matthews is remembered by all that knew him as a gentleman who always spoke the truth and always looked for a way to bring out the best in people.
A one-company man, Geoff was with Convoy for most of his working life having started as an employee at age 16.
His native intelligence ensured he moved up the chain quickly. Within a few years, he was working in the technical division of Convoy before moving into the company’s sales division.
It came as no surprise to his many industry friends when Geoff became a Convoy shareholder in the early 80s, before buying it in its entirety about two decades later.
With his sharp mind and an ability to bring out the best in people, Geoff made significant structural changes to Convoy and sales boomed. New brands were added, and the business prospered as staff and clients responded positively to Geoff’s warm and honest approach to business.
Under Geoff’s management Convoy prospered and became one of the leading audio distributors in Australia.
Len Wallis, the owner of Sydney’s Len Wallis Audio and audio distribution company, Audio Marketing, remembers Geoff’s time at Convoy with fondness.
In a moving tribute to Matthews Len Wallis said:
I’ve known Geoff for about 48 years, and he was the best of his kind. He was a man who represented all of what’s best in the audio industry.
Len Wallis was close to Matthews and is deeply saddened by the news of his passing. He regarded Geoff as a friend and describes him as warm, generous and above all, a gentleman.
Wallis tells a delightful story about Geoff’s transition from employee to owner of Convoy International.
When Geoff told his wife Kay that the company owner Alex McGuiness was selling Convoy and that he could soon be looking for a job, his wife replied with a smile: “Well Geoff, you won’t be hanging around the house all day, so you might as well buy the business.” He did.
Wallis recalls that Geoff’s time at the helm of Convoy created a new direction and environment for the company’s staff.
With Geoff, Convoy was re-energised. So were the people who worked with him. New ideas, new brands, and tons of creative energy ensured Convoy’s growth, and this skyrocketed with Geoff steering the ship.
An industry veteran, Gary Tye, also had a long association with Geoff Matthews and Convoy. Tye commenced work with the company in 1978 and left but re-joined it in 1989. He became General Manager in 2016. Tye now heads his own audio distribution company.
Tye remembers Matthew as a thoughtful and caring boss who helped him hone his work and life skills.
We all learnt a lot from Geoff. He taught us how to find what he called the golden key that opened the door to opportunity. This kind of teaching is not only rare in a boss, but it’s also priceless.
Geoff was also an audiophile. He loved audio and was always tinkering with his home hi-fi, as all of us audiophiles do. That’s rare for anyone who owns a major audio distribution company. Most get home and understandably don’t want to know about audio.
Tye’s insight backs up the experience and interactions many had with Geoff. I recall setting up a review of a Cary Audio amplifier. Speaking to Matthews at the time about the proposed review models, he confessed to being a Cary Audio fan for many decades.
I heard it and loved it, so I bought Cary Audio gear to run at home. Years later when the distributor told me he was scaling back to semi-retire, I asked him if I could take over the brand’s distribution.
With Nikola Matovinovic's approval Convoy became Cary Audio’s Australian distributor in 2016. So I upgraded my existing Cary audio models to new ones.
A testament to Geoff's love of Hi-Fi even after all these decades in the business.
StereoNET Managing Director, Marc Rushton, remembers Geoff Matthews as a friend and something of a father figure.
The Australian Hi-Fi industry has lost one of its founding fathers with Geoff's passing. I'd come to know Geoff both personally and professionally over the past few years, and I've held him in the highest regard.
Geoff was warm, caring and softly-spoken, almost unexpected for a man so successful in life and business. It took nearly a decade to earn Geoff's respect, but once you had it, you were part of the family.
I've enjoyed many conversations with Geoff in that time, and I'll miss our late night phone conversations discussing our mutual love of audio and JBL in particular, as well as the joys of being an audiophile and often being misunderstood by those around us.
Most of all though I will miss the guidance and advice Geoff offered me in business. He had a lot of experience and wisdom to share but made the time to share it with those who asked.
My deepest sympathies to the Matthews family, and the Convoy team. May Geoff's legacy carry on. He wasn't quite done yet.
Steve Burton - General Manager (left), David Matthews - National Sales & Marketing Manager (middle), Geoff Matthews - CEO (right)
Vale, Geoff Matthews.
One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.