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Warwick Acoustics appoints Ian Harnett as non-executive director

19 December 2022
The Business Magazine article image for: Warwick Acoustics appoints Ian Harnett as non-executive director

Warwick Acoustics Ltd, the UK-based audio technology company renowned for its Electrostatic Loudspeaker innovation for the automotive industry – has appointed Ian Harnett, a revered automotive industry leader, as a non-executive director.

With an automotive career that spans nearly four decades, Harnett brings to Warwick Acoustics leading-edge expertise and high-level experience in automotive commercial negotiations, people management in organisations of scale, and a proven track record in securing and bringing on-line automotive production facilities in a range of countries.

Harnett’s mix of expertise, experience and focused leadership will boost Warwick Acoustics as the company embarks on the next phase of growth in the automotive space.

Harnett was instrumental in the expansion of Jaguar Land Rover both in the UK and overseas across the last decade. Serving on the company’s main board, he oversaw sustainable growth of the UK’s largest car maker, opening a range of new production facilities outside the UK, doubling its workforce from 17,000 to around 38,000 people and more than doubling sales.

His last role at Jaguar Land Rover was executive director for Human Resources and Global Purchasing. Prior to that, Harnett oversaw the purchasing team of Land Rover following Ford’s acquisition of the brand in 2000.

During the Premier Automotive Group Ford years, Harnett spent three years in Cologne, Ford of Europe’s headquarters, working across brands including Volvo and Ford.

“I am delighted to welcome Ian to the team,” said Mike Grant, Warwick Acoustics CEO.

“Ian’s stellar career – his achievements are truly remarkable – will be a rich source of inspiration, insight and acumen that we can call upon. This is an exciting time for Warwick Acoustics as we bring our technology to market.

"Ian’s decision to join the business is testament to the quality of the team and the disruptive potential of our propostion. We enter 2023 in great shape to capitalise on this outstanding opportunity.”

Ian Harnett added: “It’s a great honour for me to join Warwick Acoustics at such an exciting yet pivotal time for the company. This is a pioneering tech organisation that’s on a rapid upward trajectory within the automotive space.

"Aligned to this growth is my career background, skillset and experience in achieving commercialisation, be that realizing important customer contracts, developing partnerships and enhancing production operations. I’m delighted that the next chapter in my automotive career will be with Warwick Acoustics.”

Following a focused five-year R&D program, Warwick Acoustics exited ‘stealth mode’ earlier this year and formally entered the automotive audio arena with its pioneering technology.

The company’s ElectroAcoustic Panels and Electrostatic Loudspeaker technologies have already demonstrated new-benchmark-creating capabilities in producing unrivalled remarkable and immersive listening experiences in vehicles.

Unlike conventional speakers, the ElectroAcoustic Panels have been developed to be moulded into diverse form factors and incorporated into almost all interior surface designs.

Such scope affords automotive designers’ working in-house at car makers new freedoms within interior vehicle development, offering new aesthetic, engineering and packaging parameters.

With car makers continuing to roll out new electric vehicle (EV) models – and stepping up future product plans – the Warwick Acoustics technology is particularly timely.

Typical EV range is increased as the technology provides up to 90 per cent power and weight savings versus conventional systems on a like-for-like basis.

From a product sustainability perspective, the ElectroAcoustic Panels are produced exclusively from 100 per cent mass upcycled and recyclable materials, with no rare-earth metals and via environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.

By adhering to these core values, Warwick Acoustics is providing OEMs with superior leverage to decarbonise supply chains in the pursuit of genuine sustainability and end-to-end carbon-neutrality targets.

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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