Harman announces key promotions at Lighting Strategic Business Unit
WORLD: Harman Professional has promoted Lars Dige Knudsen to vice president, general manager, Lighting Strategic Business Unit, Harman Professional, who takes over from Martin Professional’s previous CEO Christian Engsted. Meanwhile Villads Thomsen has been promoted to the position of vice president, global sales, Lighting Strategic Business Unit, Harman Professional.
Mr Knudsen is described as a 17-year ‘veteran’ of Martin Professional, and previously held the position of CFO. Mr Thomsen was previously vice president of sales, EMEA at Martin Professional, and has held senior sales leadership positions over a 14-year career at the lighting company.
‘Harman’s acquisition of Martin Professional makes excellent business sense from an economic, geographic and strategic point of view but also from a talent perspective – as evidenced by the promotions today of Lars Dige Knudsen and Villads Thomsen,’ said Blake Augsburger, president, Harman Professional. ‘Both are experienced, accomplished and ambitious executives with a strong commitment to grow Harman Professional’s Lighting Strategic Business Unit and serve customers around the globe with the best possible professional lighting technologies. I look forward to working with Lars and Villads and providing them with all the resources and support that they need to make the very most of this acquisition.’
As CFO, Mr Knudsen was central to transforming Martin Professional into what Harman calls ‘the world’s leading supplier’ of entertainment lighting. In addition to his general management responsibilities, he will continue to head shared services including finance, IT, legal and human resources. Mr Knudsen holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Finance and Auditing from Aarhus Business College.
‘Harman acquired Martin Professional because Blake Augsburger and his team saw value and potential,’ Mr Knudsen commented. ‘I am delighted to be tasked with realising the value and achieving the potential of Martin Professional within Harman and to lead the new Harman Professional Lighting Strategic Business Unit. I look forward to working with the other professional division business units to evolve and grow together.’
Meanwhile, Mr Thomsen has led successful sales programs for Martin Professional in several key territories in Europe and Asia. Most recently, he led the consolidation of Martin Professional’s European and Africa organisations into a unified EMEA region. He is a graduate of the Administration and Management program at Aarhus Business College, holds an MBA from Henley Business School and has participated in several executive programs at IMD and Insead.
‘With new powerful ownership, I’m excited to take part in what is certain to take Martin to the next level,’ said Mr Thomsen. ‘Being part of Harman will not only cement the current position of Martin Professional in the lighting industry but will also bring new innovations to the benefit of existing and new customers.’