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Leadership Style at Harman International

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Leadership Style at Harman International
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Netra Shetty
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Leadership Style at Harman International - May 12th, 2011

Harman International Industries (NYSE: HAR) is an international audio and infotainment equipment company. The company designs, manufactures and markets audio and infotainment products for the car, the home, theatres and venues, as well as electronics for audio professionals. Harman International's consumer group makes loudspeakers, CD and DVD players, CD recorders, and amplifiers under several brand names such as Harman Kardon, JBL, and Infinity. Harman's automotive division sells branded audio systems through several car makers, including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota/Lexus, BMW, and General Motors. Its professional unit makes audio equipment, such as studio monitors, amplifiers, microphones, and mixing consoles for recording studios, cinemas, touring performers, and others. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and maintains major operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Harman International includes many consumer and specialty brands targeting specific audio and electronics product categories.
Harman International Industries (NYSE: HAR), a leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of audio products and automotive electronics systems, announced today that Dinesh Paliwal has been named president, chief executive officer (CEO) and vice chairman, effective July 1, 2007. He will join the Harman board at that time.

Paliwal, 49, is currently president, global markets and technology, and a member of the executive committee of ABB Group (ABB: NYSE, SWX), a global technology and engineering company with $24 billion in annual revenues and operations in more than 100 countries. ABB is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

“Dinesh Paliwal is a highly talented and motivated senior executive who has earned a global reputation for management skill,” said Dr. Sidney Harman, founder and executive chairman of Harman International. “He is superbly qualified to lead Harman International as the company enters the next stage of its development.”

Dr. Harman has served as CEO of Harman International on an interim basis since January 1, 2007. A worldwide search to fill the position was conducted by Harman International’s board with the assistance of Spencer Stuart, the global executive recruiting firm.

Harman announced on April 26, 2007, that it had entered into a merger agreement with affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR) and the GS Capital Partners unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $8 billion. The transaction is subject to the approval of Harman International stockholders, customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, with closing expected in the third quarter of 2007.

Henry R. Kravis, Co-Founding Member of KKR, said, “Dinesh Paliwal is the right executive to lead Harman International as the company enters this new chapter in its history. We have been aware of Dinesh’s talents and leadership skills for some time, and we are delighted that he will work alongside Dr. Sidney Harman and the management team to capitalize on the many attractive opportunities in Harman’s markets.”

“Harman International’s dedication to research and development, as well as its strict adherence to quality manufacturing, are well known throughout the corporate world,” Paliwal said. “The opportunity to lead a company with such high standards, worldwide reputation and outstanding growth potential is extremely appealing. I look forward to working with Dr. Sidney Harman, whose passion and pioneering spirit have made this company a market leader.”

Paliwal advanced steadily since joining ABB in 1985 as a systems engineer and was soon promoted to director of marketing and sales for the company’s Asia Pacific region. He was promoted to vice president, industries in 1994, when he relocated to Beijing, China, and then successfully headed the company’s worldwide process industries division from Zurich, Switzerland; the worldwide industries division; and the worldwide automation technologies, both from Norwalk, Conn. In 2004, he was named chairman and CEO of ABB North America and also the Chairman of ABB’s publicly listed Indian subsidiary. In 2006, he was elected to his current ABB position.

Prior to joining ABB, Paliwal served with Ballarpur Industries (BILT) in Yamunanagar, India; AccuRay Corporation in Columbus, Ohio; and Combustion Engineering, in Melbourne, Australia and Singapore. He received a BS degree in physics and chemistry from St. John’s College of Agra University in Agra, India and an MS in paper science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India. He also received an MS in applied science and engineering and an MBA in finance, both from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

He is a member of the U.S. Business Roundtable and a director of the U.S. India Business Council and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is also chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council, a U.S.-based non-profit free trade organization, and serves as a director of Embarq Corporation (NYSE: EQ). Until late 2006, Paliwal served as a director of the U.S. China Business Council and an economic advisor to the Governor of Guangdong Province, China.

Paliwal, an American citizen, lives with his wife and two children in Greenwich, Conn.

Harman International designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. Its brands include Harman Kardon®, JBL®, Mark Levinson® and Infinity®. The company maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia and employs more than 10,500 people. The Company’s Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the Symbol: HAR.

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