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WS Audiology A/S announces management changes

4 Sep 2019

Press release
WS Audiology A/S, a global top three contender in the hearing aid industry with annual revenues of around EUR 2 billion and sales and distribution in more than 125 markets, today announced changes in group management. The integration effort is progressing according to plan, supporting the ambitions of the merger that created WS Audiology A/S on March 1, 2019.
  • President & CEO Jørgen Jensen to pursue a career as a board member.
  • Eric Bernard, CEO of the group’s Wholesale business, named Group CEO.
  • CFO Wolfgang Ollig to pursue future opportunities inside the EQT portfolio as part of a planned transition; Henrik Skak Bender, current Chief Integration Officer at WS Audiology A/S and former CFO of Widex A/S, appointed Group CFO as part of planned succession.

Lynge/Denmark and Singapore – September 4, 2019: WS Audiology A/S today announced changes in group management.

Following a period of careful consideration, Jørgen Jensen has decided to step down as President and CEO of WS Audiology A/S to pursue a career as a board member. He led the company throughout the integration process following the successful merger of Widex A/S and Sivantos Pte. Ltd. after serving as CEO of Widex A/S since 2013. He will be succeeded by Eric Bernard who joined WS Audiology A/S as CEO of the Wholesale business in June 2019. He previously spent more than two decades at the Essilor Group, where he joined the Executive Committee in 2011. Eric Bernard is appointed Group CEO effective immediately and will work together with Jørgen Jensen to ensure a smooth transition.

As part of a planned transition in the integration path, Wolfgang Ollig will hand over his CFO position to pursue future opportunities inside the EQT portfolio after playing an instrumental role in the merger and integration process alongside Jørgen Jensen and steering Sivantos through a successful period as well. Wolfgang Ollig is succeeded by Chief Integration Officer, Henrik Skak Bender, who served as CFO and member of the management team at Widex A/S from 2013. He will continue to lead the integration process in his new position as Group CFO and work with Wolfgang Ollig to ensure a smooth transition.

Thomas Ebeling, Chairman of WS Audiology A/S, says: “We would like to thank Jørgen Jensen and Wolfgang Ollig for their instrumental contribution to making WS Audiology a true contender in the industry. Together, they have played a decisive role in ensuring a successful merger and leading WS Audiology through the crucial first six months as a combined business. Prior to the merger, Jørgen steered Widex steadily through significant changes and created a stronger business, while Wolfgang acted very successfully as CFO of Sivantos where he built an excellent finance organization and a shared service center, supporting the company’s great development. Based on the successful integration work at WS Audiology in recent months, we will continue to invest in R&D, business development and growth initiatives with a strong management team at the helm.”

Jørgen Jensen says: “Together with more than 10,000 colleagues around the world, we have created a strong player in the hearing aid industry aiming to improve quality of life for more than 700 million people with hearing needs. I am proud of the progress that has been made, and although it has been a difficult decision for me to step down as CEO, I feel confident handing over the reins to Eric Bernard and my colleagues in the management team. After a number of years with exciting assignments and a rather busy schedule as CEO, I now look forward to contributing my energy and experience in board positions.”

Jan Tøpholm, Deputy Chairman of WS Audiology A/S and Chairman of T&W Medical A/S, says: “Jørgen has done a tremendous job shaping the future of our combined business after leading Widex through a very successful transformation. We respect his decision to dedicate himself to new challenges. He leaves WS Audiology in great shape for the future, and we are pleased that Eric Bernard has accepted the position as Group CEO. We have been impressed with his professionalism, performance and leadership from day one. We are also pleased to ensure continuity as Wolfgang Ollig hands over to Henrik Skak Bender as part of a planned succession. Henrik takes up the position as Group CFO and continues to oversee the integration work, which is progressing to plan.”

Eric Bernard, Group CEO of WS Audiology A/S, says: “WS Audiology is a fantastic company with great potential in an industry with exciting opportunities, and I am proud that the board and owners place their trust in me to continue the positive development of the business. I am looking forward to collaborating with the management team and our many talented employees to pursue our strategic targets and realizing our great ambitions for the company.”

This press release is translated into multiple languages for information purposes. In case of a discrepancy, the English version shall prevail.

About WS Audiology A/S WS Audiology A/S was formed in 2019 through the combination of Singapore-headquartered Sivantos with Lynge/Denmark-based Widex. Today, the business employs more than 10,000 people worldwide, is active in more than 125 markets and has revenues of around EUR 2 billion annually. WS Audiology A/S offers a diverse portfolio of technologically advanced hearing aid products and services across its brands Signia, Widex, Rexton, Audio Service and others. WS Audiology A/S is owned by the Tøpholm and Westermann families and funds under the management of global investment firm EQT.