Finland (January 31, 2017)—Ilpo Martikainen, founder of studio monitor mainstay Genelec, died January 30 at the age of 69 due to a long-term, undisclosed illness.
Ilpo Martikainen and Topi Partanen co-founded Genelec OY in 1978 with the release of their first product, the S30 active monitoring loudspeaker, developed over the previous two years at the suggestion of Juhani Borenius, an acoustician at YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. By 1985, the company had a dozen different monitor models, but also was also focused on sound contracting, providing systems for theaters, hospital halls, the Moscow Circus and two YLE recording vans, among other projects. Nonetheless, Genelec left contracting in 1989 to focus solely on monitoring.
In the decades since, the company has made its mark in the studio monitor world, both in designs and its focus on sustainability and environmental concerns, with an eye towards conservation of natural resources and low lifecycle carbon footprints for its products.
In recent years, Ilpo Martikainen’s children have been a key part of Genelec’s corporate fabric; Juho, Mikko and Maria Martikainen have been involved in the company for years, having been appointed to the Genelec Board in 2001. In the wake of Martikainen’s passing, they will continue to own Genelec along with fellow board members Topi Partanen and Ritva Leinonen, the latter of whom continues as the Chairperson of Genelec Board.
Announcing Martikainen’s death, the company’s website noted, “Even if we greatly miss Ilpo, we are privileged and grateful to share in the wonderful memories, passion, humanistic values, love and evolution of the Genelec story that we have experienced with Ilpo. This keeps his memory living in our hearts and deeds. He will continue to live on, through us.”