A watershed day for pro-audio?10 February 2009
WORLD: Friday January 30th witnessed an extraordinary number of high-profile personnel changes, writes David Davies. Jed Allen and Joseph Lemmer departed Digidesign and Universal Audio, respectively, while Andy Brown (pictured) was promoted to head of digital console strategy for Soundcraft Studer.
The departure of Jed Allen from the role of European sales director of Digidesign took many by surprise. As part of Digi’s core team these past few years, he is widely perceived to have played a pivotal role in bolstering the company’s presence in both studio and live markets, not least with regard to the VENUE live sound production environment.
Meanwhile, Joseph Lemmer exited Universal Audio after seven and a half years. The company’s senior manager marketing communications is joining Apple in an as-yet undisclosed role. “I have accepted a contract with Apple, which is probably the one place that could tear me away from my family here at UA,” he said.
News also broke on Friday that Meyer Sound’s marketing director – Europe, David Wiggins, had been made redundant as part of a restructuring initiative. Sources close to the company suggested that approximately 20 people were expected to lose their jobs.
As revealed in last week’s PSN-e, Martin Audio’s Rob Lingfield made the surprise revelation on the eventful afternoon that he was leaving. See full story.
On a considerably more lighthearted note, Focusrite/Novation sales director Chris Gooddie announced his resignation “in order to pursue his interest in birdwatching”. In fact, ‘interest’ may be under-selling his preoccupation – for the next year, Gooddie will be attempting to spot all the species of the rare Pittas family of birds. A website tracking the project is already up and running, and Gooddie is intending to publish a book about the adventure in 2010.
“After ten great years at Focusrite I feel the time has come to move on in pursuit of the dream which I have been planning for the last few years,” he said. “I won’t be abandoning pro-audio pursuits altogether, however; since Pittas are elusive and much more often heard than seen, finding them involves use of a shotgun microphone, digital recorder and playback speaker to record the birds and then play back their calls. Male Pittas hear the playback and come in to chase off what they assume to be a rival on their territory.”
In response to Gooddie’s departure, Damian Hawley has been promoted to the newly created position of global sales manager for Focusrite/Novation. Nick Venables will continue his role in the north of the UK, as well as supporting international efforts within the European market. Among other recent personnel developments, the company has also take on an extra UK sales executive, Neil Johnston.
Finally, this busy Friday brought some extremely good news for Andy Brown, who was promoted to the role of head of digital console strategy for Soundcraft Studer with immediate effect. A Soundcraft veteran of more than 20 years, Brown has specialised in product management for the last dozen, helping to deliver console ranges including MH and Vi.
“The advent of digital audio processing has provided us with so many new opportunities and we have extremely aggressive plans to deliver new models and extend our platforms,” said Brown, who will also continue to serve as product manager for the Vi Series. “My role will be to pull together the customers’ requirements and the expertise and technologies from all parts of our business to provide more winning products for both our brands.”