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Changes at the top at Warwick Acoustics

Posted on 23 Jan 2024 and read 472 times
Changes at the top at Warwick AcousticsWarwick Acoustics Ltd, the UK-based audio technology company renowned for its world-class innovation in electrostatic loudspeaker technology, has appointed experienced automotive industry leader Ian Harnett (pictured right) as chairman of the board.

In 12 months as a non-executive director, Mr Harnett’s guidance has been described as ‘invaluable’ as the business gears up for its first production contract with a luxury global automotive manufacturer. With an automotive career that spans nearly four decades, Mr Harnett has already brought to Warwick Acoustics his leading-edge expertise and high-level experience in automotive commercial negotiations, people management in organisations of scale, and bringing on-line new, scale automotive production facilities.

Mr Harnett was instrumental in the expansion of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in the UK and overseas during the last decade. Serving on the company’s main board, he oversaw sustainable growth of the UK’s largest car maker, opening a range of new production facilities outside the UK, doubling its workforce from 17,000 to around 38,000 people and more than doubling sales.

His last role at JLR was executive director for human resources and global purchasing. Prior to that, Mr Harnett oversaw the purchasing team of Land Rover following Ford’s acquisition of the brand in 2000.

Mike Grant, Warwick Acoustics CEO, said: “Ian joined our board in November 2022, and has been extremely valuable to the business over the last 12 months. He has helped us build key, high-level relationships across the industry, supported contract negotiations, and provided the board and management team with deep insight into the operation and thinking of our customers and potential customers.

“Ian’s experience in establishing new manufacturing facilities will be increasingly important as we scale-up production of our electrostatic automotive audio systems. We are delighted he has agreed to take on this new role, providing even more support to the business.”

Mr Harnett said: “I am excited to be appointed to the role of chairman after a fantastic first 12 months working with Warwick Acoustics. It is rare to find a company that is doing something that is as genuinely revolutionary as the ‘ElectroAcoustic Panels’ that Warwick Acoustics has developed. To see the incarnation of this technology within the disruptive systems the company has created is a testament to the team, the leadership group, and the wider ecosystem that supports the company.

“This is a British company with a world-leading and unique product, which is generating a great deal of interest from the very best automotive OEMs and I am relishing the opportunity to take on this new role as the company goes from strength-to-strength.”

Warwick Acoustics signed its first production contract with a global luxury automotive OEM in June 2023 and has development contracts with a number of other prestigious brands. The company’s innovative ElectroAcoustic Panels are up to 90% lighter and more energy efficient than a conventional automotive speaker, and are produced exclusively from upcycled and recyclable materials. They also contain no rare-earth metals.

The acoustic performance of the company’s systems is widely acclaimed by audiophiles and end customers to be a significant step up in realism, authenticity and immersiveness over current best-in-class premium audio solutions.