Obituary: A tragic loss – Steve Bilton


OPI was stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Steve Bilton, Managing Director of ECI’s FusionPlus Data product content solution.

Steve, or ‘Billo’ as he was affectionately known, was a highly respected and immensely popular figure in the business products industry. He had accumulated 30 years’ experience in the software and data solutions arena, in both the UK and the US, and helped to establish the EvolutionX e-commerce platform. 

He was part of the ownership team at FusionPlus’ former parent company, ES Tech Group, which was sold to ECI Software Solutions last year. 

Steve’s energy, sharp business mind and infectious enthusiasm will be sorely missed. OPI extends its deepest sympathies to Steve’s family, friends and colleagues.

On behalf of the ECI family, Business Unit Leader Paddy Donnelly has issued the following tribute:

In loving memory of Billo

A beacon of light extinguished all too soon, Billo was more than a friend; he was a brother, a business partner, and a soul woven into the fabric of our lives for the past 13 years. 

He was an unfailing source of support and encouragement, professionally and personally, and he constantly saw the beauty in life and the people around him.

His passing is a painful reminder of the battles one can wage. Despite his silent internal struggles, Billo never ceased to offer us his warm smile, comforting words and a shoulder to lean on. His ability to spread love while quietly enduring pain speaks to his tremendous strength and compassion.

We are left now with the echo of his laughter, the memory of his warm embrace and the legacy of his kindness. We mourn his loss and honour his memory, knowing that even though he isn’t with us physically, he remains in our hearts forever.

In the face of this unspeakable tragedy, let us remember Billo, not for how he left us, but for how he lived among us – a genuinely wonderful  and gentle man who brought joy to all who had the pleasure to know him.

Industry tributes

Many more tributes were paid on LinkedIn (slightly edited). Below is a small representation.

Ian Buckley, Managing Director, Prima Software

Shocked to the core by this sad news, you leave behind many friends and a lasting legacy. It’s times like this when you realise what an impact people have on your career. 

I’ll forever be grateful for the guidance and knowledge that Billo was so generous with – not to mention the many great nights out and events over the years. 

Dave Bent, SVP Operations – Distribution Division, ECI Software Solutions 

A wonderful person who cared deeply about others. Always fun to be with and he had a huge impact on our business and customers in both the UK and the US. 

Craig Noyle, Director, Inovocom

A legend in the UK, but also around the world.

Vanessa Warne, Category Director Furniture, VOW Wholesale

Funny, unique and definitely one of a kind!

Mark Wilkinson, Regional VP, UK & Ireland, ACCO Brands EMEA

You will be missed Billo.