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GN, parent company of GN Mobile and GN Netcom, is combining the two headset businesses.
The as yet unnamed unit will combine the assets of GN Mobile, which sells Jabra-brand mobile headsets to the consumer market, with that of GN Netcom's office headset business, which is comprised primarily of B to B sales. The company anticipates combined revenues for 2006 of about $750 million.
“Some years ago, we set out our vision for the future — one in which everyone will be using wireless headsets whether they're in the office, at home or on the move,” said Hans Henrik Lund, president of the new headset business. “Today's announcement is part of the changes we are implementing in order to make our vision a reality.”
The two brands are distributed through a total of 90,000 sales channels worldwide, including carriers, system integrators, consumer electronics chains and mobile phone specialists.
Former Bose exec David Wood will spearhead North American operations as senior VP and general manager of the unit.
“I am thrilled to be a part of GN during this extremely exciting time in the company's evolution,” said Wood. “We will work together with our global team over the coming months to unite operations and reinforce our industry leadership while continuing the company's proven track record of design innovation and product excellence.”
That work should yield some decisions on future branding and retail strategy, Wood told TWICE. “We will increasingly leverage the Jabra name in the consumer market,” he said, but no decisions have been made regarding how the company will do so, or to what extent. A thorough review of the two businesses is currently underway, Wood added, and no significant changes will take effect until that review is concluded, “probably sometime in September.”
To date, GN Netcom and GN Mobile have operated separate sales, marketing and development efforts while sharing the same production and supply-chain functions. GN Netcom, run out of offices here in Nashua, has focused on professional users in offices and contact centers, while GN Mobile, based in Lombard, Ill., has concentrated on the mobile consumer market. The facilities in both locations will remain open.
“About 10” positions were eliminated due to redundancies, according to Wood, but no further job cuts are planned at this time. GN has more than 1,800 employees worldwide.
“Combining our two divisions will help us become an even more effective organization. We will take advantage of our strong market presence, brands and track record in innovation,” said Lund. “It will also help us meet the needs of our distributors and retailers that are increasingly demanding single-point access to our headsets and other products.”
According to a statement, GN claimed the No. 1 market position in headsets in 2005 with a combined global market share of 35 percent. The company manufactured 25 million headsets, amplifiers and other accessories. The products were sold under Jabra and GN Netcom brands, as well as to global mobile phone manufacturers under OEM contracts.
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