Carsten Trads

Carsten Trads, president of Clarity, the Chattanooga-based amplified phone developer, and a long-time figure in the hearing healthcare industry, will retire from his current position on May 15, 2015.  Trads has served more than a decade at the company’s helm, as well as many more years as a prominent hearing aid industry executive. Trads is stepping down to return home to his native Denmark to lend support to a family health issue.

“Carsten is both an incredible leader and phenomenal person,” said Ken Kannappan, president and CEO of Plantronics. “He’s not only successfully grown Clarity as a business but the groundbreaking products that have been developed under his watch have improved the quality of life for millions throughout the US.

“I am grateful for Carsten’s tireless dedication and service to Clarity and Plantronics,” continued Kannappan. “Under his vision and leadership, Clarity is a strong, dynamic and innovative company. We’re energized about the future of Clarity and confident the next president will take the baton from Carsten and continue to advance technology in unprecedented ways for America’s seniors.”

Plantronics has engaged a national executive search firm to identify and evaluate potential candidates for Clarity’s next president. Clarity was founded as Walker in 1969 by Wesley Walker, a former engineer for Southern Bell. Clarity is now a leading provider of amplified telephones, assistive listening devices, and other communications solutions for people with hearing loss. The company was acquired by Plantronics in 1986. The company’s competitor, Ameriphone, was acquired by Walker and merged with the company in 2002; a few years later, in 2004, Walker changed its moniker to Clarity.

Trads has spearheaded the launch of intelligent products and formed strategic partnerships that have helped millions of people with hearing loss, low vision, limited mobility, dexterity issues, and other health challenges, says the company. Clarity has become an industry leader and pioneer, as well as a champion for seniors and the larger hearing loss community under Trads’ leadership.

Plantronics also credits Trads with forging an entrepreneurial culture at Clarity that ultimately led to a series of what it characterizes as industry firsts, including the launch of Digital Clarity Power, the first digital amplification— similar to hearing aids— for amplified phones; ClarityLogic, the first remote diagnostic service for phones; Ensemble, the first tablet-based amplified phone; and ClarityLife, a social and wellness platform connecting seniors with loved ones and caregivers.

“I am deeply proud to have served as Clarity’s president for 11 wonderful years,” said Trads. “I’ve had the privilege to work alongside some amazing people at Clarity and Plantronics, a company that is determined to make the world a better place. At Clarity, we focused uniquely on seniors— a segment of the population that often goes overlooked by the tech industry. Because of our technologies, millions of people live fuller, more connected lives. I’m honored to have led the company for more than a decade, and I’m confident Clarity’s impact will only deepen in the years to come.”

Prior to joining Clarity, Trads was president of GN ReSound and was that company’s president when the Great Nordic (GN) Group purchased Beltone in June 2000, as well as when the company dedicated its current (and now remodeled/expanded) facilities in Bloomington, Minn, in 2001.

Source: Marketwired and Hearing Review