In the EAW demo room, I ran into Jeffrey Cox, who’s here with a brand new title and role as VP of the newly-minted Pro Audio Group, part of a larger LOUD announcement that will be detailed in a press conference at 4 p.m.
It will likely be one of the most dissected announcements of the show, not least because it brings EAW and Martin together under Cox, an arrangement that begs the obvious question (see Jeffrey’s quote on that below).
Here’s the high level info: LOUD Technologies has announced the roll-out of two market-focused teams—the Pro Audio Group and the Music Gear Group. As a practical matter, this means unification of engineering, brand management and product management functions for each group. For EAW and Martin, which make up the Pro Audio brands, this actually means an increase in dedicated engineering resources, Fox explains: they now each get market-focused engineering teams as opposed to sharing engineering with the entire LOUD empire. For Fox, it means oversight over both the Martin and EAW engineering teams in London and Massachusetts respectively, as well as a shared software team based in Victoria. Cox will also oversee strategy and product development and marketing, and he seems genuinely excited about the new organization structure.
“We’re aware that there have been concerns over the past three years with Martin’s inclusion in LOUD that it was going to be LOUD’s intention to eventually have one loudspeaker manufacturer or meld the two brands [Martin and EAW],” Cox says. “It was never our intention but we didn’t do a great job of communicating that. By creating Pro Audio and rolling the two engineering staffs under the respective brands, they’re able to function independently and go off on their own vectors, thereby insuring that there is no ultimate goal of homogenation—they’re two famous brands, we don’t want to turn them into mayonnaise.”
USA EAW Engineering team, based in Massachusetts, will be headed by Jeff Rocha, who will also take on EAW product management responsibility; the High Wycombe, UK-based Martin Audio Engineering team is headed by Jason Baird; and the Victoria, Canada-based Pro Audio Software/Hardware Development Group is headed by Chris Jubien.
From the LOUD press release:
“While the two Groups will focus on the brands in their immediate purview, they will share core technology where it makes sense for LOUDâ€™s benefit. The new Mackie HD High-Definition Powered speakers are a good example of this collaboration and the leveraging of EAW Engineering expertise to create an innovative, pro-quality Mackie loudspeaker design thatâ€™s already turning heads in the marketplace.”