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Turtle Beach Names CFO; Readies For Merger

VALHALLA, N.Y. — Turtle Beach named a new chief financial officer and operations VP, both part of its plan to merge with audio company Parametric Sound by the end of this year.

The gaming accessory manufacturer also reassured consumers and retailers that its headsets would indeed operate with the upcoming PlayStation4, despite reports that the PS4 won’t support chat functionality for USB and Bluetooth headsets. However, consumers will have to use included cables to make use of chat functionality.

John Hanson, most recently VP and chief financial officer of Dialogic, joined the company as chief financial officer, replacing Bruce Murphy. According to a company statement, Murphy will remain at Turtle Beach until the end of the year.

Robert Andris joined as global supply chain and operations senior VP, replacing Craig Boelsen. Andris was most recently global supply chain and operations VP of Hewlett-Packard’s inkjet and printing solutions division.

Andris succeeds Craig Boelsen, who previously led supply chain and operations.

Turtle Beach announced in August that it would merge with Parametric Sound, an audio manufacturer. Parametric is a publically traded company, while Turtle Beach is private; the “reverse acquisition” has Turtle Beach purchasing Parametric as the majority shareholder. The company will operate under the Parametric Sound Corporation name, although gaming products will still be sold under the Turtle Beach brand.

Juergen Stark, currently CEO of Turtle Beach, will remain CEO of the new company.

David Lowey, corporate communications and public relations senior director for Turtle Beach, told TWICE that the company had been looking for something to help it leverage its audio capabilities and grow. “Parametric opens some licensing for us and opportunities [for the combined company] to commercialize the technology that they have into consumer products and B to B products,” he said. “They’re a relatively small company, but they’re sitting on some really nice innovation.”

Parametric currently has 20 to 25 employees in its San Diego headquarters, where Turtle Beach also has an office. Although personnel or location changes weren’t finalized, Lowey said he didn’t expect the merger to have a “negative impact on employment or jobs. If anything, we’ve been scaling up ahead of the merger so our product design and supply chain is ready to start working on the capabilities that they have.”

Regarding the reports of third-party headsets being incompatible with the PS4, Turtle Beach said in a statement: “The latest wireless headsets from Turtle Beach provide a lot of flexibility, including mobile adapters and talk-back cables. Even though the Play- Station 4 will launch without Bluetooth chat enabled, these wireless headsets can use a cable to get chat audio, and an optical cord for game audio, and still get an integrated headset experience. You simply run the mobile adapter cord from the headset to the controller for chat audio.

Turtle Beach also noted that its upcoming PX4 headset will be compatible at launch, adding, “The Turtle Beach XP510 and PX51 wireless headsets that were introduced earlier this year will also be fully compatible in the same manner, as will the new ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts Phantom’ wireless headset that comes to stores in November. That is four wireless, surround sound headsets that will provide an integrated chat and game audio experience with the PlayStation 4 console right out of the box.”

Turtle Beach said that once the software update is made to the PS4, these headsets will also be Bluetooth chat enabled.

Sony did not respond to TWICE requests for comment at press time.