According to a new report out of Japan last week, analysts say that Sony’s business is shifting towards more services and events – and away from the electronics business, the division that built the company. For decades, the brand Sony was practically synonymous with electronics…but that identity may be shifting as growth in other company divisions surpass electronics.
A Guest Post on the Saga of an American Brand
Of all the success stories of the ‘70s high end audio boom, none was more unlikely than that of Audio Research Corporation (ARC). Based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, historically a fly-over region for hi-fi, led by a balding, bearlike founder, and offering electronics based around vacuum tubes – considered obsolete for a decade – ARC somehow survived and thrived.
Learn more on the saga of Audio Research…[Read more…] about Audio Research: Alone Again (Naturally)
In probably one of the most meaningful media presentations I’ve attended, executives at B&W presented the industry media with their forward-looking product roadmap for the remainder of 2020 – most of it under embargo. So while I can’t tell you much about the products they revealed, what I can say is that they made a strong case for the resurgence of B&W as a leading audio power.
Learn more about my thoughts on the B&W presentation…[Read more…] about B&W Shows Signs of Its Resurgence as an Innovative Audio Leader
Sonos, Inc. (NASDAQ: SONO) announced this week that they are adding a new member to their Board of Directors. In fact, they even increased the size of the Board to make room for this new addition. The news surprised – and impressed – many market observers, as the person they are adding is Panos Panay, a top Microsoft Corp. executive. You see, if you are not familiar with Panay, there is something special about his background that makes him an intriguing addition to the Sonos Board.
Learn more about this Sonos recruitment…[Read more…] about Sonos Adds Top Microsoft Executive to Its Board of Directors
In a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sonos, Inc. [SONO:NASDAQ] announced a series of measures to try and get company costs under control in the wake of the COVID-19 impacted economy. More drastic than previous announcements, Sonos said it will cut its global headcount, close its New York retail store, close six satellite offices, cut the CEO pay, and further cut the executive team’s pay.
See more on these serious Sonos cutbacks…[Read more…] about Sonos Slashes Headcount by 12%, Closes NY Store, and Cuts CEO Spence’s Pay 20%
Intros 700 Series Signature Models & Rehires Past PR Agency
Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), a leading high-end specialty loudspeaker brand for 54 years, that recently zigged and zagged when it was acquired by EVA Automation and launched a whole new line of wireless multi-room audio systems, has taken steps to demonstrate its re-focus on their high-end, high-performance roots. These moves include re-hiring the company’s long time PR company and now launching new products that are true to its heritage as an undisputed leading premium brand.
Learn more about B&W’s latest moves…[Read more…] about B&W Offers New Products & Old Friends as Sign of Strategy Change
Just last Friday, the big news hit that Sound United had signed a letter of intent (LoI) to acquire respected audio specialty brand Bowers & Wilkins. Strata-gee was one of the first to break the news and from the moment I hit “publish,” Strata-gee web traffic stats made it clear that you all viewed this as big news as well.
That first announcement came from the Sound United camp – and it was pretty terse. As luck would have it, for the last couple of weeks before that news hit, I had already been pursuing an interview with James Krakowski, Bowers & Wilkins’ Executive Vice President, Americas, to follow up on a previous story. Although we had been struggling to find a time to connect, when this news hit, he graciously agreed to make himself immediately available for an interview.
Learn more about what’s going on with B&W now…[Read more…] about B&W Exec James Krakowski Tells Strata-gee, Ignore the ‘Noise,’ It’s All Good
Just ‘Early Stage Talks’ to ‘Explore Opportunities;’ No Mention of Agreement
Late in the day yesterday (Friday), Strata-gee told you about an announcement from top multi-brand audio provider Sound United, saying they had reached a preliminary agreement to acquire Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), a leading high-performance, high end audio loudspeaker brand. It was big news that represented another step in a long saga of B&W looking for a new home, after a previous deal with EVA Automation and its CEO Gideon Yu fell completely apart.
Now as I write this today, B&W has released a rare Saturday morning press statement that gives the same news – but from the B&W side of the deal…a statement that seems shaded differently than the Sound United characterization.
Read more on B&W take on the situation with Sound United…[Read more…] about In Unusual Saturday Statement, B&W Says, In Effect, We’ll Speak for Ourselves, Thank You
WSJ Says Deal Valued at Around $250M
On Wednesday, we learned that Savant Systems Inc. (Savant), has acquired the lighting business from none other than the mighty GE. Terms of the transaction were not released, but the Wall Street Journal reports that “the transaction valued the unit at around $250 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.” GE has been a major lighting provider for over a hundred years.
See more on this HUGE Savant & GE deal…[Read more…] about And BAM! Just Like That, Savant Acquires GE Lighting to Become a Major Lighting Supplier
CFO Admits Company Looking at Possibility of No More Shows in 2020 – and Fewer in 2021
Emerald Holding Inc., formerly Emerald Expositions Events, Inc. (NYSE:EEX), has released their fiscal 2020 first quarter results and the organization makes no bones about it – it has been hit, and hit hard, by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced that in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 – the period ending March 31, 2020 – sales declined 27.4% to $99.7 million and the company had the biggest net loss in its history, losing $570.1 million.