Indianapolis - Klipsch Group executives Fred Klipsch and Paul Jacobs are changing duties at the company, but staying on as part of a promise by Audiovox, the company's new owner.
Audiovox said it would retain Klipsch management and the company's culture and philosophy, said Audiovox president/CEO Pat Lavelle.
Paul Jacobs, Klipsch Group president/COO, has been promoted to president/CEO, and Fred Klipsch will relinquish his CEO title, remain Klipsch Group chairman, and stand for election to the Audiovox board of directors at Audiovox's annual meeting on July 21.
The COO position will not be filled. Klipsch Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Audiovox, which purchased the company in March, and markets home audio speakers and audio electronics under the Klipsch, Jamo, Mirage and Energy brands.
Jacobs joined Klipsch 20 years ago as the head of sales and held various executive positions with the company. Fred Klipsch led the organization since 1989, when he and wife Judy purchased the company from cousin and Klipsch founder Paul W. Klipsch. Paul Klipsch started the company in 1946 and passed away in 2002 at age 98.
Jacobs joined the company in 1991 as a sales representative and was later promoted to regional manager and then to EVP of sales and marketing. As COO, he was responsible for all national and international company operations, including the strategic direction of the Klipsch, Jamo, Mirage and Energy brands.
Jacobs becomes CEO following the company's most profitable year to date in 2010, said Fred Klipsch, "and the momentum continues to build with the introduction of over 30 new products this year." He said Audiovox's "expansive resources" as a public company "are perfectly aligned to enable Klipsch Group to build upon its strength in the marketplace for years to come."
Said Audiovox's Lavelle, "When we announced the acquisition of Klipsch, we indicated that the management of the company would remain and the culture and philosophy of Klipsch would not change." The appointment of Jacobs "assures that direction," he continued. "During Paul's time with Klipsch, he has worked side by side with Fred Klipsch in developing the products and culture that epitomize the Klipsch brand."
Audiovox chairman John Shalam called both men's appointments "significant" and noted that Fred Klipsch "brings a level of experience in the development and marketing of high-end products that will benefit all of our lines and brands."
Fred Klipsch called Audiovox "the ideal partner to lead Klipsch Group into the homes and ears of a new generation of consumers." As Klipsch Group chairman, he said, "I plan on being a part of that expansion of our products and brands as we solidify Klipsch's place in the marketplace for years to come."
Jacobs noted that the economy "hasn't been favorable to many other audio and consumer electronics companies," but he said Klipsch Group remains "an industry leader with a solid global footprint, outstanding talent, strong brands and a diverse, high-quality product portfolio."
The group's international sales have grown from 5 percent to 40 percent of volume in the past five years, with the Klipsch, Jamo and Energy brands sold in China, other Asia/Pacific countries, Australia, Russia, South America and throughout EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa).