Financially ailing Bang & Olufsen will get a new global CEO on July 1 when Danish telecom executive Henrik Clausen replaces Tue Mantoni, who has been CEO since March 2011.
B&O chairman Ole Andersen said Mantoni “initiated a dialog with the board of directors about his long-term commitment as CEO once certain important projects had been completed.” Andersen said he is “confident that [Clausen] has the international leadership experience to take Bang & Olufsen to the next level.”
B&O hasn’t posted a full-year profit for the past three years. In recent months, the luxury audio/video company sold off its automotive audio unit to Harman, which also secured the right to use the B&O name on OEM sound systems. B&O also recently announced plans to begin sourcing OLED TVs from LG to achieve scale and improve long-term profitability. The company divested its ICEpower OEM audio-amplifier business.
During the first nine months of its current fiscal year, B&O posted a net loss of 98 million DKK ($15 million), down from the year-ago loss of DKK 164 million $25.1 million), despite a sales gain of 16.6 percent to DKK 1,937 million ($296.9 million). North American revenue fell in the third quarter by 5.6 percent to DKK 51 million ($7.8 million), “mainly related to [the] restructuring of the retail network,” the company said.
Clausen had been Telenor’s strategy and digital executive VP since 2014 and was CEO of its Danish operations from 2005 to 2010.
The leadership change follows a recent announcement that B&O terminated discussions with Sparkle Roll to take over the publicly held company. Sparkle Roll is led by the head of B&O’s distributor in Asia. B&O said it called off the talks because, despite Sparke Roll’s interest, “Sparkle Roll has not committed to launch a tender offer for all shares in Bang & Olufsen and has not been able to substantiate its ability to launch such a tender offer.”