Harman Professional Solutions, manufacturer of professional audio, video, lighting, and control systems, is in the process of a major workforce transformation, laying off 650 employees, a significant percentage of the company’s professional audiovisual workforce.
“To be clear, the changes we announced yesterday are the culmination of a transformation that the Professional Solutions Division has been undergoing for the last two years to better serve our customers, increase our competitiveness, and accelerate new product innovations,” said David Glaubke, director of public relations, global professional solutions, Harman International.
The changes will result in several facility closures over the next nine months to a year, including Elkhart, Indiana, South Jordan, Utah and a few smaller offices throughout Europe that came to Harman through a number of acquisitions over the last 10 years. Following these transitions, Harman stated it will enter a “rebuilding” mode and form three “Centers of Competency”: Northridge, CA for acoustics; Richardson, TX for electronics, DSP, and video and control; and Aarhus, Denmark for lighting. These centers will allow the company's engineers to focus on critical product differentiations instead of requiring them to develop motors, mechanical structures, and other supporting elements. The job of converting these technologies into competitive products will be for our newly formed New Product Innovation (NPI) teams.
While layoffs have occurred, Harman is redirecting its investments to IT tools and platforms, ensuring its employees, distributors, and representatives have the tools they need to easily transact business. According to Glaubke, Harman is also creating additional "Experience Centers" in the US and Europe. The combination of "Centers of Competency" and "Experience Centers" will create new roles and positions within the company.
“We have given our employees advance notification of the changes we will make over the next year to assist with the transition and will do our best to mitigate the impact to our employees and their families,” Glaubke said. “Importantly, we also will ensure that the process is completely seamless for our customers.”