In a series of appointments to improve its organization and its end-product, Crown Audio today announced decisive steps to reinforce its senior management team. New leaders have been added as the company implements continual improvement initiatives in fundamental disciplines including sales, operations and general management. John Fitzgerald, Vice President of Program Management at Harman Professional, will take the additional position of General Manager for Harman’s Elkhart, IN based Amplifier Business Unit and will be responsible for all aspects of Crown Audioâ€™s business. John Batliner, Vice President of Sales for Harmanâ€™s High Performance Audio Video group, will assume additional responsibilities as Vice President of Sales for Crown Audio and Matt Bush, previously Director of Sales for Crown Audio is appointed Senior Director of Operations for Crown Audio. According to Rob Urry, Vice President of Harman Professionalâ€™s Amplifier and Processing Business Unit, todayâ€™s appointments will position Crown Audio for consistent development and
growth and will improve the quality, performance and innovation of the products.
â€œWith John Fitzgerald, John Batliner and Matt Bush, Crown Audio is placing proven leaders in positions of critical importance to our development and also Harman Professionalâ€™s development.â€? Urry said today. â€œHarman Professional is determined to strengthen its leadership position in professional-grade audio systems. Providing the worldâ€™s best sounding, most reliable, most versatile amplifiers is central to our ambitions and is similarly important to our customers around the world. Our determination to grow is matched only by our commitment to improve and I am confident that these three leaders will back up that commitment”.
As Vice President of Program Management for Harman International in Farmington Hills, MI, Fitzgerald developed and managed a portfolio of corporate programs to improve quality, streamline base cost, and integrate newly acquired companies. As Director, Product Engineering, Fitzgerald held leadership responsibilities for product development activities for the North American and Far East regions of the OEM division of Harman International. Fitzgerald also has international experience as Director, Product Planning, Senior Manager Asian Operations based in Nagoya, Japan where he managed all Japan operations and developed the product planning process to establish long term product strategies for all Asian customers. Prior to joining Harman, John Fitzgerald was Process/Quality Engineering Manager at TRW Automotive Electronics and before that Process Engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation. John Fitzgerald holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maine and an MBA from the University of Illinois, Champaign.
John Batliner is a sales leader with extensive experience and success in the professional audio and custom home markets. This includes five years as Asia Pacific Sales Manager with Shure Incorporated followed by seven years as Vice President of International Sales at dbx in Salt Lake City. He has been an influential and effective leader in Harmanâ€™s High Performance AV group since 1996 and has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the groupâ€™s channel strategy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and an MBA from Purdue University.
Matt Bush joined Crown Audio in October 2008 after establishing a world-class operations team at Harman’s Sandy, UT Signal Processing Business Unit, and was the architect of HMGâ€™s hybrid manufacturing and global supply chain strategies, directing all supply chain functions including a US manufacturing facility, off-shore manufacturing, customer service, and distribution centers in the US, Asia and Europe. He has also led group-wide programs in European logistics and key supplier negotiations, and has presented numerous times at Harman best-practice sessions. Matt is a Six-Sigma Greenbelt and coach, has completed Executive Programs in Supply Chain Management and Factory Physics at the Kellogg School of Management and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the University of Utah.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets â€“ supported by 15 leading brands including AKGÂ®, Harman KardonÂ®, InfinityÂ®, JBLÂ®, LexiconÂ® and Mark LevinsonÂ®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.2 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2010. The Companyâ€™s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.