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Harman's Consumer Audio To Move West

1/15/2009 09:50:00 AM Eastern

Stamford, Conn. — Harman International will close its Woodbury, N.Y., consumer audio headquarters by June 30 and consolidate most of their functions into the company’s existing Northridge, Calif., facility.

The functions include sales, marketing and administration.

The Woodbury facility employed about 130 people in 47,500 square feet of leased office space, Only “a limited number of employees will be offered relocation,” the company said in a written statement. The consolidation “supports an ongoing strategy to strengthen the company’s key businesses through resource consolidations,” the company added.

In another type of consolidation, Harman said consumer audio division president Richard Sorota left the company after a year on the job “to seek an opportunity outside the company.” The company hired David Slump to take on two assignments: consumer audio division president and corporate development VP. Harman described Slump as “a veteran of more than 15 years in a variety of senior positions in business development and turnaround, portfolio management and P&L responsibility.” He was senior VP for energy management company Landis + Gyr Holdings, where he directed the company’s global brand strategy and evaluated investments.

In another executive change, Harman named Sachin Lawande as chief technical officer to replace Helmut Schinagel. Lawande joined Harman in 2006 and was most recently its chief innovation officer, responsible for guiding Harman’s software strategy and development partnerships.

The consolidation “continues our long-term strategy to strengthen our core businesses and optimize our resource footprint for a sustainable and profitable future,” said Dinesh Paliwal, Harman’s chairman/CEO. “We remain committed to the needs of our consumer audio customers and look forward to serving them from an integrated Harman International facility in Northridge, Calif., which has hosted elements of our automotive and professional businesses for many years.”

Harman International employs about 11,000 people worldwide.