Harman Professional Solutions — which includes brands such as AKG, AMX, Crown, JBL Professional, Lexicon and SVSi – is in the midst of massive restructuring with plans to lay off 650 positions, sources with knowledge of the situation told CE Pro sister site Commercial Integrator editor-at-large D. Craig MacCormack yesterday.
Today Harman has confirmed to Commercial Integrator that the multi-brand organization, which was acquired by Samsung in late 2016, is in the midst of a restructuring and consolidation that will lay off 650 positions in the U.S. and Europe over the next year.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to many Harman employees.
“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,” David Glaubke, Harman Professional Solutions’ public relations director, wrote to Commercial Integrator in a statement.
What’s the New Plan for Harman?
Since the acquisition of Harman by Samsung, there has been a lot of speculation on the future of Harman’s brands. In the integration market, many wondered about the future of SVSi (video distribution) and AMX (automation).
Glaubke maintains that all Harman Professional Solutions brands will continue to exist, adding that “there will be continued investment in the portfolio, including AMX.”
Meanwhile, Harman has been transparent about its focus on restructuring to better serve the evolving integration market. That transformation has been in process “over the last two years to better serve our customers, increase our competitiveness and accelerate new product innovations,” Glaubke wrote.
“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 [new product introductions] that will improve high-demand product availability and processes and resources for our customers, sales teams and distributors.”
There is some physical restructuring going on as well. Glaubke indicates that Harman Professional Solutions is forming three “Centers of Competency” locations:
- Northridge, Calif., with a focus on acoustics
- Aarhus, Denmark, with a focus on lighting
- Richardson, Texas, with focuses on electronics, DSP and video and control
Richardson, of course, was the headquarters of AMX prior to being acquired by Harman in 2014.
“With these changes, we are now better aligned and structured for future growth,” Glaubke wrote.
Perhaps most importantly, Glaubke emphasized, Harman Professional Solutions “will ensure that the process is completely seamless for our customers.”