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Warwick Acoustics names automotive industry veteran as chairman

12 January 2024
Ian Harnett - picture contributed
Ian Harnett - picture contributed

Audio technology firm Warwick Acoustics has appointed Ian Harnett as its chairman, 12 months after he became a non-executive director, and as the company gears up for its first production contract with a luxury global automotive manufacturer.

Harnett's automotive career spans nearly 40 years and he was formerly a main board director at Jaguar Land Rover.

READ MORE: Warwick Acoustics secures major automotive contract

There, he oversaw sustainable growth of the UK’s largest car maker, opening a range of new production facilities outside the UK, more than doubling sales and lifting the workforce to around 38,000 from 17,000.

Mike Grant, Warwick Acoustics CEO, said: "Ian joined our board in November 2022, and has been extremely valuable to the business over the last twelve months.

"He has helped us build key, high level relationships across the industry, supported contract negotiations, and provided the board and management team with deep insight into the operation and thinking of our customers and potential customers.

"Ian’s experience in establishing new manufacturing facilities will be increasingly important as we scale-up production of our electrostatic automotive audio systems. We are delighted he has agreed to take on this new role, providing even more support to the business."

Warwick Acoustics signed its first production contract with a global luxury automotive OEM in June last year and has development contracts with a number of other brands.

Its ElectroAcoustic Panels are up to 90% lighter and more energy efficient than a conventional automotive speaker, and are produced exclusively from 100% by mass upcycled and recyclable materials.

"I am excited to be appointed to the role of Chairman after a fantastic first 12 months working with Warwick Acoustics," said Harnett.

"This is a British company with a world-leading and unique product, which is generating a great deal of interest from the very best automotive OEMs and I am relishing the opportunity to take on this new role as the company goes from strength-to-strength."

Founded in 2002, Warwick Acoustics is a spin-out from Warwick university. It is now headquartered at a new state-of-the-art facility at MIRA Technology Park, Warwickshire, in the heart of the UK's automotive industry.

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Giles Gwinnett is a writer at The Business Magazine. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and covered a vast array of topics at a range of media settings - in print and online. After his NCTJ newspaper training, he became a reporter in Hampshire before moving to a news agency in Gloucestershire. In recent years, he has been covering the financial markets along with company news for an investor-focused web portal. His many interests include politics, energy and the environment. He lives in Dorset.

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