STOW, OH--Audio-Technica mourns the passing of Atsunori Abe, former General Manager of Audio-Technica Corporation International Department, on July 10, 2009. Abe passed away in his native Japan and is survived by two brothers, a sister, his wife and their three daughters. Atsunori Abe (pronounced AH-bay) joined A-T in 1978, and in addition to holding the position of the General Manager of Audio-Technica Corp. International Department, he also served on the company's Board of Directors. He retired in 2005.
During his tenure at the Audio-Technica Corporation, Abe helped the company grow internationally and was instrumental in launching such groundbreaking products as the AT4033 Cardioid Condenser Microphone, the microphone that is credited as being the first high-quality, studio-grade microphone available at a price within the reach of the home and project studio market. The AT4033 was the cornerstone of what was to become A-T's renowned 40 Series line of microphone and headphone products. Abe also was intimately involved in the introduction of A-T's 30 Series, Artist Elite Series, including the 5000 Series UHF Wireless System, and Audio-Technica's extensive line of professional and consumer headphones. Abe was one of the key people who helped Audio-Technica develop a relationship with the Olympics, beginning with the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, when A-T first supplied microphones for coverage of the Games, a tradition that continues to this day. Abe also contributed to Audio-Technica Corporation President Kazuo Matsushita's vision and dream with the opening of Technica House/AstroStudio, located in Tokyo. Abe traveled to almost all trade shows where Audio-Technica exhibited, and over the course of his career, he accrued millions of miles flying around the world on behalf of the company.
"Abe-san led the growth of global sales for Audio-Technica Corporation with a truly international perspective, combined with traditional Japanese values and culture," said Phil Cajka, Audio-Technica U.S. president/CEO. Cajka continued, "He was a multi-faceted, well-rounded individual. Abe-san was a trusted business associate, teacher of Japanese culture and business practices, had a good sense of adventure and humor, and he was someone who truly enjoyed American country music, a fine red wine and a good cigar. His legacy and contributions will long be remembered. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and all who knew him."