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At Oticon, company culture is key to success

The 110-year old business always is looking to future

Oticon President Peer Lauritsen with VP of Marketing Sheena Oliver.-(PHOTO BY AARON HOUSTON)

Oticon is affiliated with an approximately $7 billion holding group. It even has a brand-new, 162,000-square-foot Somerset headquarters.

But its president, Peer Lauritsen, doesn’t have an office. He might be on the highest rung of the ladder for an industry leader in hearing care, but he remains seated among his 500-strong Jersey workforce.

How’s that for corporate culture?

“Any employee — no matter what part of the company they come from — can walk up to me for a talk,” he said. “They don’t even have to go through a secretary.

“We’re all in the same boat. (Our) communication is an important part of understanding how we’ve excelled in helping so many people with hearing loss.”

The casual environment is home to a team that does some serious work: designing and manufacturing hearing instruments. Those devices are then distributed to audiologists and other health care specialists.

Oticon is actually the U.S. business unit of Oticon A/S — the world’s second-largest manufacturer of hearing care solutions.

The Denmark-based parent company is a subsidiary of the publicly traded William Demant Holding Group, which had revenue of $6.89 billion in 2010 and has reportedly grown since.

It expanded into the U.S. market in 1965, settling on New Jersey as a center of operations because it had already been working with agents in the area.

But the Danish company’s history stretches much further back — all the way to 1904.

“You don’t often hear about a 110-year-old company still being around,” Lauritsen said. “But we’re still kicking. The reason for that is our dedication to finding the best solutions for those with hearing loss.”

Brett Johnson

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