Nortek Inc. announced this morning that it has consolidated several of its brands into a new organization that they call the “ProAV Group.” Consisting of several Nortek brands that were conspicuously missing from their recently formed “Core Brands” group, the ProAV Group combines Gefen, TVOne, and Magenta Research into one consolidated group.
See more on this latest round of Nortek consolidation…
The new ProAv Group will, like Core Brands, be managed under the Nortek Technology Solutions segment which is run by President Sean Burke. ProAV will be headquartered at Nortek’s Chatsworth, California facility. The company says the group will also have offices in Connecticut and Kentucky, as well as international facilities in Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the U.K.
ProAV will be focused specifically on the pro A/V, commercial, and broadcast markets. Nortek says that the group already has more than 5,000 direct customers as well as several distribution partners in the United States and around the world.
To be headed by Gefen…
ProAV Group will be headed by Hagai Gefen, the president of Gefen. As they did with Core Brands, the organization will structure the group’s management with leaders drawn from the member companies. Joining Gefen in running the ProAV Group will be John Dace (president of Magenta Research) who will take over responsibility for group worldwide sales and Uri Ram (senior vice president of Gefen) who will handle the group’s finance and logistics responsibilities.
In a pattern that seems to mimic the creation of Core Brands where Jeremy Burkhardt unexpectedly “retired,” David Barnes, president of TVOne, is said to be retiring after twenty years with the company.
“Aligning Gefen, TVOne and Magenta Research under a centralized management team will enable us to more effectively serve the professional AV market by offering a broader mix of commercial-centric products, strengthening our direct-to-integrators sales capabilities and enhancing our dealer support,” said Nortek CEO Michael J. Clarke in a prepared statement. “Following on the heels of the formation of our Core Brands Group this summer, our decision to combine these three respected ProAV companies reflects our strategic focus on pursuing new opportunities to serve our dealers, channel partners and end users, while also leveraging economies of scale and enhancing our cross-selling capabilities.”
Trying to get TECH back on track…
In what is likely part of the continuing effort to reorganize Nortek’s troubled TECH segment, this new move addresses brands that were not included in the more residential market-oriented Core Brands. However, questions still remain about this new structure as the company continues to be relatively opaque about specifics of their new marketing plans.
For example, in addition to their pro A/V and commercial solutions, Gefen offers products that are clearly targeted at the residential market as well. Will Gefen drop these products to refocus on its commercial products? Will those products be re-branded with a Core Brands name? And what is to become of their sales force structure – will those be consolidated as well?
Is there an echo in here?…
These questions echo those from the previous consolidation of the Core Brands companies which includes Niles, SpeakerCraft, Xantech, Elan, Aton, BlueBolt, Proficient, Panamax, Furman, and Sunfire. Since the creation of Core Brands in August, the market has awaited details of how products, markets, technologies, sales forces, etc. will be combined.
And even though company officials have given several press interviews – including their first public comments with strata-GEE’s Ted Green at the CEDIA Expo in September – there have been few specifics offered. This fact has caused a lot of consternation amongst several dealers and integrators…anxious to know more.
Sean Burke, President of Nortek’s Technology Solutions segment added: “Operating as a unified entity will enable us to more effectively address the rapidly changing needs of the Professional AV market by combining the high-end video technology of TVOne and the large-scale system integration capabilities of Magenta Research with Gefen’s leadership as an innovative solutions provider at the forefront of digital connectivity. Combining these three teams will position us to accelerate product development launch new marketing programs and deliver additional support services for our customers and distribution partners.”
No doubt, fans of the individual Gefen, Magenta Research, and TVOne brands will join their residential colleagues in waiting for more specifics on exactly how the company expects these new consolidated groups to actually operate relative to programs, policies, and sales structure.
For more on Nortek, see: www.nortek-inc.com.