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Audio Champion Joe Richter Dies

Former Kenwood and Akai president Joe Richter has died

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) reported today that former CTA Board Member Joe Richter died this past weekend.

Richter was a 21-year veteran of Kenwood USA, serving as its president from 1993 to 2002. He left the company as a result of a restructuring effort that merged five U.S.-based subsidiaries. Named CEO and president of APH USA, the parent of the Akai brand, Richter held this position through 2005. He subsequently launched 3D Incorporated, a global firm designed to source products and technologies for the U.S. consumer electronics market.

He served on CTA’s Board of Industry Leaders in 1997 and again from 2000 to 2003. He also served as chair of CTA’s audio division and on CTA’s executive board from 1998 to 1999. Richter began his career in retail sales before spending over a decade as a manufacturer’s representative.

In a statement, CTA expressed “its sympathies to the family and friends of former CTA board member Joe Richter who passed away early Saturday morning, Dec. 30, following a long fight against various respiratory issues.”

CTA president/CEO Gary Shapiro commented: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Joe Richter. Joe was a great supporter of our association and a passionate advocate for audio technology. Joe helped lead the consumer technology industry into the digital audio era, championing a quality audio experience while promoting the many benefits of digital. Joe also was a true gentleman and strong leader, always ready with a smile, a hearty laugh and a desire to find compromise among competing voices. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”