Brandon Sawalich has been appointed as the new president of Starkey Hearing Technologies. The widely anticipated announcement means Sawalich will succeed as president Starkey’s Founder and CEO William (Bill) Austin, who will remain CEO and continue to function as an active participant in the company’s strategic direction and leadership. Starkey Hearing Technologies, headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn, is the largest US-based hearing aid manufacturer, employing more than 5000 people and operating 22 facilities in more than 100 markets worldwide.
Sawalich began his career at Starkey in 1994 at age 19 in the company’s hearing aid repair lab, and held several roles within the company before being named senior vice president in 2010. In addition to his work at Starkey, he is chairman of the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) and sits on several boards that benefit the industry. Sawalich also serves on the board of Special Olympics Minnesota, has long-time involvement in the International Hearing Foundation, and is an active participant in the Starkey Hearing Foundation which fits more than 150,000 hearing aids annually to children and adults.
“After 23 years with Starkey, Brandon has proven to me that he is a trusted leader who Starkey can be proud of, and who shares my passion and commitment to better hearing, our employees, the industry and the people we serve,” said Austin in a press statement. “He has been an instrumental part of the team leading Starkey, with me, these past 22 months. Under tremendous pressures, he guided the company’s technological advancement and commitment to customer service, all while building a talented leadership team with the values and ethics upon which I started this company. I could not have asked for a more dedicated partner.”
“I am humbled by the extraordinary honor to lead this wonderful organization and talented team,” said Sawalich. “Fifty years ago, Bill Austin started Starkey on the fundamental values of connecting people through better hearing. He is a caring business leader who has dedicated his life to serving those in need. I am eager to continue building on Bill’s successful history and am excited about our direction and unlimited potential.”
As senior vice president, Sawalich assumed the role of corporate leader at Starkey, along with step-father Austin, after a turbulent period when fraud and tax evasion charges led to the departures of five top executives in September 2015. Since that time, he has helped drive the growth of the company with recent releases in the last year such as Halo 2, Muse RIC rechargeable, the Ear Health Product Line, and the Dash Pro Tailored by Starkey hearable collaboration with Bragi.
Source: Starkey Hearing Technologies and HR