Yesterday, Harman Professional gave notice to approximately 650 people that they were restructuring and they will be laid off over the next year. The positions are in the U.S. and Europe and a Harman spokesperson told rAVe today that the result of the restructuring will include facility closures over the next nine months to a year, including Elkhart, Ind., South Jordan, Utah and a few smaller offices throughout Europe that came to Harman through a number of acquisitions over the last 10 years.
“To be clear, the changes we announced yesterday are the culmination of a transformation that the Professional Solutions division has been undergoing for the last two years to better serve our customers, increase our competitiveness and accelerate new product innovations,” said Harman Director of Public Relations David Glaubke. “We are now consolidating certain locations acquired through acquisitions over the years to leverage the R&D, engineering, design and manufacturing operations of our other divisions and speed up our time to market. We also are investing in a stronger IT infrastructure, supply chain and software-driven NPIs that will improve high-demand product availability and processes and resources for our customers, sales teams and distributors.”
As you may know, Harman Professional was purchased by Samsung last November as part of an $8 Billion acquisition that included all of Harman International — including both the professional and consumer divisions. As we speculated back then and again in March, this purchase was primarily for the Harman automobile technology products and a, potentially, unintentional consequence of the acquisition were some big-time great brands from Harman Professional like AMX, Crown, dbx and AKG.
Harman did follow up and tell us that they are currently redirecting their investments into IT tools and platforms (aimed at helping their sales teams, distributors and reps) and they are investing in Experience Centers in the U.S. and Europe on top of the two that are already in Asia.
Glaubke commented on the likely unrest a layoff this size would garner saying, “I want to emphasize that decisions like this, while necessary, are not easy to make. We have given our employees advance notification of the changes we will make over the next year to assist with the transition and will do our best to mitigate the impact to our employees and their families. Importantly, we also will ensure that the process is completely seamless for our customers.”
We hope that all the 650 Harman Professional employees displaced by their reorganization find homes elsewhere in ProAV quickly as they have some talented people that would serve companies like Extron, Crestron, NEC, Barco, Christie, Epson, Bose, Cisco and Almo well – all of which are hiring!
There is no official press release on this, yet, but here is where you can find Harman Pro.