With deep roots in manufacturing, Kniest foresees great opportunity for HARMAN in South America as the market for high-quality professional audio continues to grow. As the new parent company of Selenium, HARMAN has also taken responsibility of Selenium operations in the United States and Europe, in addition to the sales responsibilities of the 150-distributor team Selenium boasts in Brazil.
“Starting a new chapter with HARMAN and Selenium is a great honor for me and for those associated with Selenium for the past 50 years,” said Kniest. “Selenium has seen tremendous growth in recent years and combining our efforts with the HARMAN name brings a new level of quality, reputation and overall sales to the company across the board. As HARMAN's country manager for Brazil, I look forward to exploring new areas of business and providing our customers the same quality they expected from Electronica Selenium, building upon our already strong relationships around the world.”
As a mechanical engineer with a Master of Science in noise and vibrations science, Kniest's previous positions serve him well in his latest venture. From CEO of Mueller FogÃµes Ltd. and time at Navistar international Truck and Engine, to over a decade of experience at Dana and GKN, as well as holding the position of CEO of Selenium, Kniest brings extensive professional engineering and manufacturing experience to Selenium.
Offering professional-grade loudspeaker products, Selenium provides solutions worldwide for the most demanding live sound providers and integrators. “The HARMAN association strengthens the visions Selenium has focused on for years,” continued Kniest. “We have great confidence in our plans for integration into the HARMAN culture and we have already started joining our technologies to develop a higher level of products for our customers.”
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,800 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.5 billion for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.