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Harman Specialty Group To Restructure

2/01/2008 02:10:00 PM Eastern

Bedford, Mass. — Harman International’s Harman Specialty Group (HSG) will consolidate offices during the next several months.

HSG makes and markets high-performance audio and video components under the Mark Levinson, Revel and Lexicon brands.

The group’s electronics R&D will gradually move from Bedford to Harman International’s Northridge, Calif., facilities, joining HSG’s speaker R&D. The group’s order-administration and technical-support functions, as well as marketing- and finance-support functions, will move to the Woodbury, N.Y, site of the Harman Consumer Group, which makes and markets the Harman Kardon, JBL and Infinity brands.

Overall channel management and sales, however, will remain in Massachusetts, although the current Bedford and Billerica facilities will close.

“Our current sales force remains intact and will continue to be located in the Bedford, Mass., area,” said HSG president John P. Batliner. “The support functions will be moving to Woodbury, N.Y., with much of that transition expected to be completed around July.

Channel management and sales will remain in the hands of Batliner, Walter Schofield, Hank Finke, Ed Stadlen and Patrick Gaffney, the group said. Andy Baker will continue management of the Europe, the Middle East and Africa markets from the United Kingdom. Kevin Voecks will continue his role at Revel in Northridge.

As for R&D, “long term, our electronics R&D will be co-located in Northridge with our speaker development group. In the short term, we will maintain the R&D team we have in Bedford as we bring to market a number of key products currently under development,” said Batliner. “We will put together a new team in Northridge and hope that many of our existing engineers will transfer to make up much of this team.” Bedford-based engineering VP Jim Hardiman “will lead this engineering transition — including the essential transfer of the DNA of our brands,” he added.

Locations will change, but the group said “the brand identity and superior performance of HSG products will not change.” What will change, the group said, is “the pace and means” in which HCG bring products to market.

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