2020 presented every country, industry, business and individual -- with unimaginable adversities and unique opportunities. In the face of everything we witnessed this year, our HARMAN team responded in incredible ways. With the holiday season here and as the year comes to a close, I decided to take a look back at it all. From reinventing annual traditions to growing our footprint in the healthcare space, our teams found new ways to deliver success and remind all of us how we’ve built something truly special at HARMAN.
A Commitment to Our Communities
HARMAN is always committed to contributing to the success and well-being of its communities. Through our global cause initiative, HARMAN Inspired, we decided to donate to thoughtful organizations and initiatives like Feeding America, the World Health Organization and UNICEF’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, all supporting relief efforts in response to the global pandemic. Our automotive teams in Europe also took to producing 3D printed protective face masks to help hospitals and medical facilities in need of protective gear. Additionally, HARMAN and JBL’s teams joined forces with our non-profit partner Little Kids Rock, to donate headphones to schools across the country and help students focus on at-home education.
Celebrating Together Virtually
Each year on June 21st, HARMAN joins music-lovers around the world in celebration of Make Music Day. While we couldn’t hit the streets with our popular Street Studios this year, the lockdown measures didn’t hold us back from having a safe and virtual musical celebration. We continued our annual tradition of spreading the joy of making music by debuting our Come Together video, releasing a special Make Music Day-themed episode of our Audio Talks podcast, and connecting with one of our inspiring HARMAN Ambassadors to learn more about a professional career in music.
Reaching Major Milestones
No two years at HARMAN are the same – our teams are constantly innovating, transforming, and adapting to deliver the latest technologies, products, and solutions to our customers.
Our automotive teams continued to prove HARMAN’s dominance in the field and received prestigious honors including the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America Innovation Supplier of the Year in recognition of our commitment to providing innovative and high-quality products and services. Our team also received the highest ratings in the JD Power 2020 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study. This year we also announced new car audio partnerships, including with the Volkswagen Arteon, Ford F-150, and Cadillac Escalade ESV which would all feature top-of-the-line sound systems from Harman Kardon, Bang & Olufsen, and AKG, respectively.
Not to be outdone, our lifestyle audio team announced our latest JBL Brand Ambassador, international music sensation Bebe Rexha, and celebrated the grand opening of the first JBL-branded retail store (our second store location in NYC!).
Making Healthcare a Priority
Whether it’s strengthening our presence in new markets like gaming or continuing to expand on our enterprise offerings, we’re always looking to grow our business in a strategic way. This was a key reason why our teams forged new ground in delivering quality healthcare. HARMAN made great advancements in our own health-related offerings, through the development of two new health solutions: AccuAlertMe, a unique solution to help companies and employees navigate the risks of COVID-19 as regions across the world begin to reopen, and our Remote Care Platform, which enables doctors and healthcare professions to securely access patient health data by connecting to a wide array of medical and non-medical devices outside the clinical setting.
A Time to Focus on Learning
In March, we also witnessed an unforeseen development as the live entertainment industry canceled tours, stages and theaters went dark, and audio and lighting professionals grappled with unemployment. Our HARMAN Professional Solutions team took immediate action to help our friends and partners in the industry, and within a matter of weeks, developed Learning Sessions, a series of webinars that allowed us to offer new experiences and skills to unemployed professionals. In just the first four months of the series, we were able to hold 100 sessions, hosted by over 50 industry presenters and viewed by more than 60,000+ attendees. This is a true testament to the dedication of our teams in adapting to changing times and finding creative ways to meaningfully contribute in these testing times.
As I now look to soon celebrating our GRAMMY® and Academy award-winning audio brand JBL’s 75th anniversary, I can’t stop myself from being in awe of its evolution from a provider of powerful loudspeakers to immersive gaming solutions. This evolution is proof of its revolutionary impact and influence on pop culture and audio innovation – and the unparalleled genius of our people. While 2020 might not have been the year we were expecting, our teams did not falter in their commitment to delivering the products and technologies that provide the immersive, thoughtful and personalized experiences our customers have come to know and love. Our sincere thanks and gratitude goes out to every single team member who demonstrated true HARMAN spirit through their innovative, kind and entrepreneurial actions this year. Here’s to the next 60 years.