Summary: WS Audiology (WSA) has announced the appointment of Jan Makela as its next president and CEO, who joins WSA from GE HealthCare, brings 17 years of experience in the medical device and life sciences industries.

Takeaways:

  • The appointment of Jan Makela as President and CEO marks a strategic leadership transition for WSA, following an intentional succession process.
  • Makela brings extensive experience from his tenure at GE HealthCare, where he led a business with revenues of approximately $10 billion and over 10,000 employees. 
  • Eric Bernard will support Makela in his transition to the new role and will after a short break to serve as an industry advisor to EQT.

WS Audiology (WSA) announced today that Jan Makela has been appointed as its President and CEO, succeeding Eric Bernard, with effect from July 15, 2024.

“The CEO succession at WSA has been well planned and agreed between Eric and the owners, the Tøpholm and Westermann families and EQT,” says WSA Board Chair Lars Rasmussen. “The owners and the board express their deep gratitude for Eric’s relentless commitment to WSA and his many contributions and achievements. He has led the company through the first 5 years after the merger, growing revenues by more than 50%, strengthening the leadership team, driving employee engagement levels to best in class and developing WSA into a sustainability leader. With the appointment of Jan Makela, we have a strong successor with an impeccable track record. The board is confident that Makela will lead WSA into the next cycle of profitable growth, innovation leadership and consistent execution.”

From GE HealthCare to WSA

JMakela will join WSA from GE HealthCare where he currently is President and CEO of Imaging, overseeing a business with revenues of approximately $10 billion and over 10,000 employees. Makela brings 17 years of diverse and successful experience in the medical device and life sciences industries, having led businesses in field services, radiology imaging, diagnostic pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. He will be moving with his family from the UK to Denmark in the coming months.

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to enter the world of hearing care and lead WSA, which is recognized as one of the most innovative MedTech companies in the world, enabling millions of people with hearing loss to continue to participate fully in society,” says Makela. “The growth opportunities in hearing care are outstanding, as global markets are underserved. I am inspired by WSA’s purpose: Wonderful Sound for All, and look forward to working closely with the team and contributing to the company’s success.”

Further reading: Visiting WSA’s New Americas Manufacturing and Distribution Center

Making a Succesful Transition

Eric Bernard will support Makela in his transition to the new role and will after a short break to serve as an industry advisor to EQT.

“My time at WSA has been one of the most exciting of my career,” says Bernard. “Together with a dedicated leadership team, and supported by our owners, we have been able to build WSA into a leading player in the hearing aid industry. I would like to thank our employees for their tremendous commitment and sincerely wish Jan lots of success.”

Photo of Jan Makela courtesy of WSA