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5-Minute Interview: Michael MacDonald

Michael MacDonald: Executive vice president of marketing, Harman Pro Group, Northridge, Calif.

Michael MacDonald: Executive vice president of marketing, Harman Pro Group, Northridge, Calif. In 1996, Michael joined JBL Professional and spent six years there, serving the last four as president. MacDonald went to Harman after four years with Pilot Business Strategies Inc., a consulting firm founded four years ago to serve a number of professional audio, video and security companies.

Pro AV: What is your new role within the Harman Pro Group?

MacDonald: It can be summed up as integration, communication and ideas. One part of my job is to help the brands become more efficient at integrating product packages to suit the needs of our customers, and this extends from M.I. right through to sophisticated contractor solutions, where HiQnet strategy and direction becomes critical. I am also deeply involved with developing third-party partnerships that can improve our offerings, especially in the systems space.

Pro AV: With system sales, do you see increasing demand from customers to source most of their pro audio gear from a single supplier?

MacDonald: Yes, we do, and HiQnet is a strong driver of that trend. I think contractors are looking for a unified programming language to save time and mitigate risk when they're bidding and executing projects, more and more of which are consuming vast hours of programming time. We are also seeing contractors respond very positively toward multibrand solutions where we've been able to out-innovate single-component manufacturers.

Pro AV: Where is the industry going over the next five to 10 years?

MacDonald: The most important consideration on the industry horizon is continuing elevation of programming in the job description of system integration at the individual and company levels. Another, not unrelated, consideration is the need for greater standardization. This will mean looking beyond the contracting landscape and toward the IT domain, where standards-based Ethernet provides integrators and their customers with efficiency, coupled with functionality.

Pro AV: Your parent company, Harman International, recently announced it would be acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and GS Capital Partners for $8 billion. What impact will this have on Harman Pro?

MacDonald: (No comment.)

Pro AV: Are there any new directions for Harman Pro that you can share withPro AVreaders?

MacDonald: We are actively looking for market expansion opportunities that will leverage Harman strengths and provide value for our customers. That's all I will say for now, but I expect that contractors especially will be intrigued and positive toward these developments.

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