Widex A/S, one of the top 6 largest hearing aid manufacturers in the world, has announced that Jørgen Jensen (pictured) will be the company’s new CEO. The privately-owned company, established in 1956 by Erik Westermann and the late Christian Topholm, has traditionally been headed by the families of these founders.
Taking over for long-time CEO Jan Topholm, Jensen will be responsible for the implementation of an ambitious new strategy for the global company, reports Widex. Although the owners of Widex will leave their positions in order to give Jensen the necessary room to manage the company, they will remain on the board.
“Today, Widex is a global hearing aid company with 43 sales companies all over the world, a turnover of over 3 billion Danish Kroner [US$531MM] and 3,800 employees,” said Jan Tøpholm, co-owner and current CEO of Widex, in a press release. “In the last 10 years, the company has grown by 10% each year. We have the best products on the market, a long tradition of quality, and are second to none in audiology. That development should not just continue, it should be strengthened. That makes Jørgen Jensen the right man to lead Widex,”
In the last 2 years, Widex has worked on an ambitious strategy to take the company from strength to strength and into a secure future (see March 2011 HR article on the company). “We are proud of the position Widex has achieved and now our strategy will become a reality,” says Topholm. “Significant sums and human resources have been invested in the comprehensive strategy and globalization project. It is a plan which will secure the company the strongest possible platform for growth and positive earnings in a global market which continually offers tougher competition. A natural step in that regard has been to add new energy to the company’s leadership. By appointing Jørgen Jensen as CEO, this is ensured.”
Leading Widex into the Future. Jørgen Jensen comes to Widex from a position as president and CEO of Nilfisk-Advance. At Nilfisk-Advance, he has been responsible for business development, global supply chain, and the development of cleaning machines for 15 years. For the past 8 years, he has held the position of president and CEO. He is 45 years old, holds an MSc in Economics, and has previously worked for McKinsey & Co.
According to Widex, for the past 10 years at Nilfisk-Advance, Jensen has been responsible for fundamentally changing the company through the reorganization of processes, the movement of production, and by developing sales companies. Nilfisk-Advance has grown steadily under Jensen’s leadership, as well as doubling their profits to a level at the top of the industry.
“Jørgen Jensen has worked with sales and marketing globally and managed the strategic development of an international group,” says Topholm. “It is this experience and expertise which will contribute to ensuring the necessary focus and speed of readjustment needed for the further development of Widex. We are looking forward to getting him on board.”
Widex co-owners include CEO Jan Tøpholm
The owners will continue on the board of directors. To ensure that Jensen has the necessary room and freedom to manage the company, the present management will leave their positions when Jensen takes over. Jan Tøpholm will devote himself fully to the position as chairman of the board, while the other owners, Søren and Anders Westermann, also will concentrate on their work on the board of Widex and other duties of a more vocational nature.
Aside from the owners, the board also consists of experienced figures, such as the respected Danish businessmen Lars Frederiksen and Ulrik Bülow. This is designed to provide a solid combination of industry experience and operational and financial experience represented on the board. Jan Tøpholm’s two sons, Richard and Julian, will continue in their operative positions at Widex and on the board.
Ambitions for the future. Widex has been known for its advanced technology and for a leading position in the market. The company reports that its goal is to develop this position in the coming year. This will happen through continually focusing on developing new and groundbreaking products which ensure optimal comfort as well as giving the consumer the best audiological features, reports the company.
According to Widex, “the company will strengthen its profits through harnessing and strengthening its global strength. The result of this approach will be to bring Widex on par with the best performing companies in the hearing aid market. This will happen at the same time as the development of the organisation continues and global sales increase.”
Source: Widex A/S