Sound United VP James Krakowski Announces Departure As Well
On April 11, 2022, Masimo Corp. appointed Kevin Duffy – then CEO of Sound United – President of the Consumer Division of Masimo Corp. as part of its $1 billion acquisition of Viper Holdings Corp., Sound United’s parent company. Duffy was offered a fairly rich package, with salary and certain other benefits and perks that could be worth millions of dollars, in some cases after a vesting period.
Then, just ninety days later, the company filed paperwork with the SEC saying that it had terminated Duffy “without cause.”
See more on Duffy’s exit from Sound United and Masimo
Sound United, a prominent player in specialty electronics and speakers brands such as Denon, Marantz, Bowers & Wilkins, Definitive Technology, Polk, Classe, and more, was acquired by Masimo Corp, a medical products maker, back in February 2022. As part of that acquisition, Sound United CEO Kevin Duffy was appointed President of the Consumer Division of Masimo in April.
Terminated ‘Without Cause’
Now, Duffy is out – terminated by Masimo on July 11th “without cause.” Duffy’s final day with the company turns out to be today, August 5.
What does it mean to be terminated without cause? California, like many states in the U.S. is what is known as an “at will” state. This simply means that the working relationship between the company and employee continues but can be terminated by any party at any time with or without cause for any reason with no recourse. While it’s true this means your company can simply cut you at any time for any reason – it also means you can leave a company at any time for any reason without having to provide any formal notice.
So Duffy is out…what does this mean for Sound United? Nobody other than Masimo knows. Interestingly, despite how key Duffy is viewed as the former CEO of Sound United, Masimo made no public notice of this decision. Even in its SEC filing, Masimo offers no explanation of the move and only notes Duffy would stay through August 5th and “to assist the Company with transition and other matters on an as-needed basis following the termination of his employment with the Company.”
James Krakowski Leaves Sound United to Head Sales at Samsung
Separately, James Krakowski, Sound United’s Vice President of Commercial Operations, announced earlier this week on LinkedIn that he was leaving the company to join Samsung Electronics as its Head of U.S. Sales. It is not clear whether this move by Krakowski is connected to Duffy’s departure.
While instituting changes is the right of any acquirer of companies, they typically lay low and avoid major changes for a period of many months to even a year or more. This is usually for more pragmatic reasons than strategic – it’s best to avoid unnecessary business disruption until you get a better handle on the business. However, it appears that Masimo is flexing their muscles early in this process.
I have sent a request for more info to Masimo and will report what I learn…if anything.
See more on Sound United at soundunited.com.
Learn all about Masimo Corp. at masimo.com.