Maybe you’ve heard the buzz about a major shake-up taking place at B&W. Reports out of the U.K. say that Gideon Yu, Greg Lee, David Liu and others have all stepped down from the Board of Directors. There is a link being passed around to a web page for the “Companies House,” which is a government-connected registrar of companies and corporations. The link goes to a page which indicates that several B&W executives and directors have “resigned” their positions. So just what is going on?
Bowers & Wilkins
As we hurtle headlong into the a new decade – the 2020s – it’s a good time to pause and take stock of some of the major events of our industry’s recent history by ranking the Top 10 Strata-gee stories of 2019 based on total page views. This ranking shows just what stories drew the most attention of Strata-gee’s eminently intelligent and inquisitive readers.
See which 2019 Strata-gee stories were tops with readers…[Read more…] about Reader’s Choice: The Top 10 Strata-gee Stories of 2019
BREAKING NEWS Acquired by Sound United Two Years Ago, Then Gone
It was January 2018 when I reported that Sound United had completed its acquisition of Classé, an acquisition which had been first announced in December of 2017. In the weeks leading up to that December, former owner Bowers & Wilkins was considering getting out of the electronics business…maybe. After months of confusion, where on any day executives at Classé teetered back-and-forth between survival and demise – it now seemed that Sound United had thrown them a lifeline…a chance to live to fight another day.
And then they dropped out of sight for the last two years…
What happened to Classé?…[Read more…] about The Curious Case of the Disappearance of Classé
Ever since EVA Automation acquired Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) back in 2016, I have nervously watched to see the impact of this clash of cultures – new wave with old school. Strata-gee had already exhaustively reported on the painful slow-motion train wreck of Thiel Audio – another high-end audio brand purchased by private equity. In that case, its ultimate demise was in part due to the launch of affordably-priced, but common Bluetooth technology speakers relying on the power of the Thiel brand to justify the non-common selling price.
Would audiophile darling B&W suffer the same fate?
See more on B&W’s new Formation wireless line…[Read more…] about Formation – A Formidable Foray into Digital for B&W
The day has finally arrived. A day long rumored…but never announced. A project shrouded in mystery…willfully maintained, with leaks locked as tight as a special counsel investigation. But now, at long last, all is revealed…for on this day Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) launches their all-new concept – the Formation line of products. And the mystery is finally unveiled. Best of all…Strata-gee recently got a sneak peek that we can reveal now.
See what B&W shared with me just days ago…[Read more…] about B&W: Flying in ‘Formation’
Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) announced today it has restructured its company in order to further its research and development initiatives. In a brief announcement, only four paragraphs long, new CEO Gregory Lee (former CEO of Samsung North America) said a new, larger research facility will open in 2019.
See more on this announcement from Bowers & Wilkins… [Read more…] about Bowers & Wilkins Restructures in Support of R&D
Will High-End Classé Represent Sound United’s Crown Jewel?
Just when you thought it was all over, Strata-gee has learned that a new suitor – Vista, CA-based Sound United – has emerged to make a bid to acquire Classé Audio from current owner B&W Group. Classé was shut down by B&W on October 6th, as we reported at the time. However, because the company was still sitting on a relatively significant level of inventory – and was considering producing an additional small run of certain models to balance out their inventory to facilitate liquidation – B&W executives often maintained it was still in business.
When deals with three previously interested parties failed to come to fruition, B&W made the decision to close Classé’s Montreal headquarters, dismiss all Classé staff, and turned over service and support functions to B&W facilities.
See more on this surprising development for Classé… [Read more…] about Surprise! Sound United Makes Bid to Acquire Classé
We have now confirmed that at the end of the day last Friday, October 6th, the Classé headquarters facility was in fact closed by Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) for the last time and all remaining employees were dismissed. This move is a sad and sobering end to a once proud brand celebrated by many audiophiles as one of the finest performing lines of high-end electronics available.
See more of what we know about the closing of Classé… [Read more…] about Confirmed: B&W Closes Classé HQ; Staff Dismissed
Multiple sources are telling us that on Friday, October 6th, the Montreal headquarters of Classé will close their doors for the last time and all remaining employees will be let go. This includes the dismissal of Classé President Dave Nauber, who has been with the company since 2002. Classé is part of the B&W Group, which itself is going through a major restructuring in the wake of the dismissal of President Doug Henderson as we reported to you back in July.
See more on what we’ve learned about the situation at Classé… [Read more…] about Case Closed: Classé Closing October 6th
Multiple sources have confirmed to us that several B&W regional managers have resigned from their positions with the company this week. In a move that one source indicated has been coming since the moment the company terminated President Doug Henderson, the regional managers all turned in their voluntary resignations in the same week.