US: "It was Harman Pro Group president Blake Augsburger's concept to create a mechanism for increased communication that will help to tighten up the way that Harman Pro companies work and develop products," Michael MacDonald tells PSN-e of the newly-created position that has tempted him back to the organisation after four years away.
An industry veteran with spells at Yamaha and TimeLine among his credits, MacDonald has most recently worked with clients including EAW/LOUD Technologies at consultancy outfit Pilot Business Strategies. He is arguably best-known, however, for a six-year tenure at JBL Professional - the last four years of which saw him serve as company president.
His new Harman Pro role of executive vice president, marketing, bases him at the Group's headquarters in Northridge, California. The complex nature of the new position means that his first priority will be "to take the time to listen. I really need to absorb and learn where each company is at, and how I can add value. The last thing that anyone in the Group needs is someone in my position interfering with activities that are productive!"
The result of all this information-gathering, intends MacDonald, will be "pro-active tools that tie the companies together while at the same time allow each of the companies to remain autonomous to defend their respective product categories and brands".
The further development and dissemination of HiQnet is also set to be high up on the agenda. MacDonald says that the network protocol is "a big part of the future of the Pro Group" and refutes any suggestion that its market performance to date has not lived up to expectations. "When HiQnet was launched, everyone at Harman knew that it was a long road," he says. "The very nature of networked audio products suggests that it would take a large number of different products to build a networked audio system_ The more products that Harman launches, the greater the system's functionality can be."
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