Yesterday’s announcement by Siemens that it will spin off its audiology and hearing instrument business as a separate, new publicly held company could be great news for the global hearing aid industry — but only if an independent, newly energized management team can overcome the complacency that has dogged the Siemens hearing business in recent years.
If the new entity fails to command a premium share price by raising its profile, kickstarting its growth, and regaining its historic leadership position in the hearing aid industry, it might just as easily be quickly gobbled up by a competitor or another conglomerate and disappear. If that happens it will be a sad day, because the hearing industry needs more dynamic independent competitors capable of driving new technologies into the marketplace at all price points and in all product categories.
In announcing its “Vision 2020” corporate reorganization, Siemens said it will streamline down to a limited number of strategic technology businesses — hearing aids not included. [Read more…]