Bang & Olufsen Names New CEO Days After Scuttling Sale Plans

  • Telenor executive Henrik Clausen to start as CEO on July 1
  • B&O this month abandoned talks for takeover by Chinese suitor

Bang & Olufsen A/S named Henrik Clausen as its new chief executive officer, less than two weeks after the Danish luxury hi-fi system maker walked away from takeover talks with a billionaire Chinese suitor.

Clausen will take over from Tue Mantoni on July 1, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Clausen comes from the Nordic region’s largest phone operator, Telenor ASA, where he’s served as head of Denmark, its Malaysian unit and most recently as global head of strategy and digital. Mantoni has been CEO for five years.

B&O terminated talks with Qi Jianhong on April 15 after a months-long process to sell the company only produced one interested buyer. The electronics manufacturer said Qi had missed several deadlines to make a full offer for the company and its employees and retailers needed to be able to concentrate on the business. Qi remains B&O’s largest shareholder.

Clausen "has the international leadership experience required to take Bang & Olufsen to the next level," Chairman Ole Andersen said in the statement. Mantoni had initiated talks with the board about his long-term commitment “some time ago,” B&O said.

Shares of B&O declined 2.1 percent to 70 kroner at 9:05 a.m. in Copenhagen. The stock has fallen 15 percent this year, valuing the company at about 3 billion kroner ($468 million).

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