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Sennheiser CEOs Talk Consumer Partner Search

Co-CEOs Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser sit down with PSN to explain their search for a Consumer Electronics business partner, and what's ahead, post-pandemic.

Co-CEOs Daniel (left) and Andreas Sennheiser.
Co-CEOs Daniel (left) and Andreas Sennheiser. Ludwig Schöpfer / StudioTusch

New York, NY (February 22, 2021)—Pro-audio mainstay Sennheiser turned heads last week with the announcement it is searching to find a new corporate partner for its Consumer Electronic division. Under the expected arrangement, the consumer division would gain additional resources that a partner could bring to the brand, allowing Sennheiser to focus on its Neumann, Pro Audio and Business Communications business units, co-CEOs Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser told PSN.

Opting to team with an outside entity is no small decision for the 75-year-old company; the consumer electronics division, which introduced its first headphones in 1968, comprises roughly half the manufacturer’s business, said Andreas Sennheiser. The partnership search, then, is the result of “actually having more opportunities at hand than we can give all the full potential [under our current] setup.”

The decision came after an internal assessment of the company’s divisions, said Daniel Sennheiser: “Looking at the different business units in more detail, we realized we need different strategies to make them successful. How we can develop all four business segments at the same time with the necessary power, so all markets that we’re in have great growth opportunities? We saw that the consumer part can be really driven to the full extent if we can find a partner and focus on the pro part.”

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In recent years, the company has sought to make the various business units more independent, creating separate sales forces for each. “Now this is the next level,” said Andreas Sennheiser. “[All four] need investment in technology and audio competency, but also in sales and marketing. We believe that we can do this very well long term on the pro businesses, and a partner will help us accelerate the growth on the consumer business.”

While the CEOs are open to discussing a variety of approaches as they begin the search, one scenario that’s off the table is the possibility of selling the brand outright, said Andreas Sennheiser: “It’s our family name, and therefore we’ll hold that close to the family.”

As the manufacturer plans to focus on its other three business units once a partner is in place, plans are already afoot for those divisions. Daniel Sennheiser noted, “We’re looking forward to the pandemic lifting, especially now for live and broadcast, where we believe that we’ll see a renaissance of the industry; the public is really waiting for live events to come back. It’ll still be a little bit difficult for this year, we believe, but then in 2022, we’ll see great growth.”

The CEOs noted that the pandemic has aided their MI-based efforts, with the rise in home recording and home studios creating an upswing for both the Sennheiser and Neumann brands. “That area has actually grown significantly and gives us more opportunities to also invest into R&D and more products,” Daniel Sennheiser added. The pro-audio division’s broadcast and audio-for-video offerings, will be an upcoming focus, too, as they are the subjects of “strong plans and strong pipelines.”

Sennheiser isn’t letting the consumer division sit idle during the search either. “Every plan, every strategy that was in place prior to this announcement is still there,” said Andreas Sennheiser, “so we’re still driving the business strongly. With a new partner on the consumer side, we can even grow stronger there, creating therefore a better future for all sides.”

Sennheiser • https://en-us.sennheiser.com/

 

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