Name: Chris Schyvinck
Position: President and CEO
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
CHRIS SCHYVINCK: As president and CEO of Shure, I work with our executive team to lead the company’s nine divisions: Administration, Finance, Global Legal Services, Global Marketing and Sales, Human Resources, Information Technology, Operations, Quality, and Product Development. I am also responsible for setting Shure’s business goals and corporate strategies and measuring our performance against our objectives.
SCN: How long have you been in this position?
CS: I joined Shure in 1989 as a quality control engineer and worked my way through the organization to become president and CEO in 2016.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
CS: I started my career as a quality control engineer, where I learned about the types of issues sound professionals encounter daily and worked to ensure our equipment wouldn’t contribute to those issues. Shure’s brand reputation was built on quality products, and this company remains committed to delivering the best performing products.
I eventually moved from the position of vice president of quality to vice president of operations, where I managed procurement, supply chain, and manufacturing, as well as quality. This was another essential experience because I was able to work with a number of intelligent, passionate people worldwide who are just as dedicated to this company as I am.
I then moved into a role leading global marketing and sales, where I managed three business units in the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and the Asia/Pacific regions.
All of this experience has helped me learn more about overall company operations, the global business structure, and what we need to do to meet the evolving needs of customers. Having diverse experience within different parts of the company has given me an appreciation that I don’t think many CEOs have: thoroughly understanding the type of work that happens at various levels of an organization and appreciating the efforts of our associates to make this such a fantastic company to be part of.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
CS: We are a customer-focused company, which means that we put the needs of our customers first. Customers in this business are very particular about their products—they must perform at the highest quality possible.
Our goals are to continue to develop quality products and to innovate for the next generation of customers. We are also working on better positioning ourselves with customers globally, as we now have Shure operations in more than 25 locations around the world. So much of our business requires hands-on product demos and human interaction, so we must ensure that we have support for our customers wherever they are.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face?
CS: As a company celebrating our 94-year anniversary, there’s a tremendous level of pride throughout the organization about where we are today. But business is changing. Customer needs are changing. And we need to continue our evolution.
We are in a growth mode—hiring new talent with deeper technology expertise and expanding into other sectors and global footprints. This may seem like a challenge to some, but for me, it is a great opportunity to make the Shure brand even stronger.
SCN: Where do you see the audio conferencing market heading?
CS: More and more business is being conducted virtually, so having the right audio conferencing equipment—and support—is essential. We understand that the growing number of devices, endpoints, and locations created by AV conferencing creates another huge responsibility for IT departments, so we are actively engaged with customers to provide solutions that make those connections feel effortless.
We want our solutions to be seamless for them, and effortless for the end user, to allow for quality connections. Software management is another important area, and we are continually providing solutions and upgrades to our software management tools.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Shure?
CS: One of the things I’m excited about is our continuous innovation. We are always looking to improve our products—or develop new ones—to help meet the demands of our customers. In some cases we’re working with customers to create new solutions for them. We’ve celebrated 94 years of success by not being “just okay” with the status quo. For example, we’ve already achieved great success with a newer audience of content creators with the launch of our MV88+ video kit.
Our new TwinPlex microphones, launched in April, are built to take on the diverse needs of top-tier audio professionals in every setting, with reliable clarity for TV and film, tailored-for-speech audio for speaking appearances, and discreet durability for broadcast use.
As you can see, we’ve been busy. We have a number of exciting announcements in the works. Stay tuned for more new initiatives from Shure.
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you offer?
CS: We’re helping them look at the big picture solution for their customers—not just the right products, but the right software, the right training, the right support. Systems that can easily be updated and grow with the organization are important. No one wants to invest in equipment that will be outdated in a year or two or will not be compatible with other new equipment.
Responding to globalization is also important. Years ago, we’d see requests for six mics for six rooms at a university; now we are seeing more requests for audio solutions for 100 rooms to be connected around the world.
We are a solutions-focused company and offer several resources, like training and demos, for systems contractors to learn more about what to offer customers. We’ve put the customer first for 94 years and we’re still doing it today.