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Nortek To Realign Brands Into 3 Groups

6/04/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

CARLSBAD, CALIF. – The new Nortek group that consolidates
the company’s AVC Group brands with the
previously independent SpeakerCraft/Proficient and
Panamax/Furman brands will realign all nine brands into
three business groups to reduce product and R&D duplication
and deliver programs with higher impact, a group
executive told TWICE.

Five years ago, all of the
brands were expanding
their product selections to
become one-stop shops,
but because the market
has turned down, all brands
“need to focus on the things
they’re really good at,” said Elan’s Paul Starkey, who will
direct marketing for the as-yet unnamed group. “We
started to perfect that with the AVC Group model, and
now it will be more obvious.”

The AVC group was formed in 2010 to consolidate
the Nortek-owned Niles Audio, Elan Home Systems,
Xantech, Aton and Sunfire brands under one roof. Now
AVC will be consolidated with the Nortek-owned SpeakerCraft/
Proficient and Panamax/Furman brands.

With the latest consolidation, all of Nortek’s residential-
focused electronic brands will be under one roof.

Under that roof, Nortek will create three business segments:
power and accessories, which consists of select
products from Panamax, Furman and Xantech; control
and electronics, which includes Elan, select Panamax
products and Panamax’s Blue Volt brand; and audio,
comprising the SpeakerCraft, Proficient, Sunfire and
Niles brands.

For marketing, the business-segment directors of
each group will report to Starkey, who will be responsible
for executing marketing
strategies and delivering
products and programs
to sales teams headed by
Dave Keller. Reporting to
the business-segment directors
will be product and
brand managers for the different
brands.

For SpeakerCraft/Proficient, Proficient’s Keith Marshall
will remain in charge of developing marketing strategies,
and Starkey will execute them.

The new reporting structure will eliminate the three
brand president positions under which the AVC Group
previously operated.

The rep companies used by SpeakerCraft/Proficient
and Panamax/Furman will remain in place. “We don’t anticipate
short-term changes,” said Starkey. Late last year,
all of the AVC Group brands began sharing the same rep
companies.

As for potential staff reductions arising from
the consolidation, Starkey said “eliminating
jobs is not the driving element” behind the
restructuring, saying that all operating units
are profitable. The main driver, he said, is to
“spur more innovation,” explaining that brands
acquired by Nortek over the years duplicated
efforts and were in a “maintenance mode of
product development.” Now the combined
companies have “an opportunity to innovate
and create a better value for dealers,” he said.

Regarding layoffs, “we have not gotten to
that level” of decision making, but he said
there would be job-shifting and, in a couple
of “key areas,” new hires.

The headquarters of the unnamed group
will shift to Petaluma, Calif, where Panamax/
Furman has its headquarters. Bill Pollock,
president of Panamax/Furman, has been
named president of the new group.

The new group will also retain its presence
in Carlsbad, where AVC Group was
headquartered.

AVC Group president Mark Terry will
leave the company. SpeakerCraft president
Jeremy Burkhardt announced his retirement
earlier this week.

The group said no changes “are currently
planned” for existing dealer contacts, customer
service, tech support and credit operations.

“We’ve joined the expertise and efficiency
of the industry’s most important technology
brands and formed a new resource for our
dealers that represents a unique opportunity
for them to grow both ROI and competitive
standing,” said Sean Burke, group president
of Nortek’s technology products segment.
“By synergizing the benefits of our brands
under one centralized group, additional resources
can be better allocated to product
development and marketing.”