D&D AUDIO INTERVIEWS ROBERT WINTERHOFF
Robert Winterhoff, Crystal Cable's & Siltech CEO, was interviewed by D&D Audio and talks about his and our new adventure(s). (Interview in Dutch can be found here)
International Audio Holding, Siltech & Crystal Cable’s parent company, appointed a new CEO as of May 1st: Robert Winterhoff.
Having celebrated IAH’s 35th anniversary in the audio business the former managing director of Beyerdynamic gets to pave the way for the future. Edwin & Gabi Rynveld will remain actively by his side as Technical Director and Global Sales and Marketing Manager. We asked Robert about his plans, ideas and ambitions and about his first few months so far.
Why did you choose IAH?
Few things are more adventurous than the special atmosphere of a 35 year old ‘start-up’ run by a family whose unique entrepreneurial spirit is palpable throughout the company. For several years now I’ve had the pleasure of working as an external consultant for the company so IAH isn’t exactly new to me. When Edwin Rynveld asked me earlier this year whether I’d consider a permanent leading position I immediately and enthusiastically accepted the offer to become CEO during these exciting and changing times for the company. This position, in a fascinating environment of innovation and engineering, provides the perfect opportunity for me to combine my knowledge and experience as well as analytical skills with my background in engineering.
For well over 25 years now I have a profound passion for high end audio, its customers’ changing needs and the new ways to handle that. I look forward to explore and maximize IAH’s potential and to expand the added values of its brands.
What was this first quarter of a year like as IAH’s new CEO?
I’ve had the opportunity to meet a very energetic, creative and productive team these past few months. That enabled me to put the most relevant aspects of the company as well as its future product portfolio in the right perspective. I like to compare being a CEO to conducting an orchestra. A conductor heavily depends on others. The CEO determines the musical vision, chooses his musicians, works with soloists who share that same vision and ultimately sets the tone to optimize the whole orchestra’s performance.
That’s why we invest quite a lot in the company’s infrastructure. The right combination of people and technique means a lot to us and my reward is leading a group of remarkable professionals that value the ‘Made in The Netherlands’ motto which guarantees quality, reliability and innovation.
To increase our production and efficiency we expanded our factory significantly creating much larger warehouse –and distribution facilities. Right now we focus on investing in people to add mixed and unique skills to our strong team. Hiring new engineers for example and enlarge our sales –and marketing team to stay connected to new marketing activities. On top of that we are also in the midst of transforming our distribution strategy…
What can be expected in the next couple of months – or even years?
Continuing success requires continuing change as a company and remaining forever critical about existing or new company structures. Our industry’s landscape is changing and I’m convinced the high end audio market provides a huge potential when utilizing the leadership both our brands’ enjoy in this market.
We are proud of our past and look forward to a successful future because where other see limitations we see opportunities. To ‘Why’ our response is ‘Why not?”. Keep pushing the boundaries of science to make the impossible possible is the key to our ambition and success.
Siltech’s new Symphony loudspeaker is the latest milestone in our never ending quest for perfection and without any doubt technically extremely advanced. Siltech’s Symphony is able to reproduce both the lowest and highest tones, all with an unmatched authenticity.
At Crystal Cable our engineers created one the most accurate network cables to date. Crystal Cable’s characteristic quality of a massive silver-gold wire and high purity monocrystal silver cores ensure the highest quality conductors. With these patented metallurgical wonders perfectly combined with the best DuPont Teflon® isolation we achieved to set a new standard for network cables.
According to us Siltech’s SAGA is one the most impressive high end audio products of the last few years. What’s your experience with SAGA?
First of all I couldn’t agree more. Siltech’s SAGA employs unique and new amplification concepts in order to produce the highest sound quality ever achieved. Even loudspeakers known for their irregular impedance and phase load are easily driven by SAGA’s P1 while remaining its superior sound quality. This enables SAGA to get the best out of all loudspeakers no matter how complex the speaker’s design.
My first introduction to Edwin and Gabi Rynveld and IAH was during my time as Beyerdynamic’s CEO. Through the years we developed a friendship based on mutual respect, trust, similar entrepreneurship and involvement in high end audio. Both Siltech and Crystal Cable demand nothing but the highest audio quality and performances in the audiophile community. That actually led to our first co-operation (of headphones and cables) and the start of our relationship. The perfection of both brands can be found in even the smallest details and carefully chosen materials. This isn’t a surprise to the industry though because IAH is more than just two brands; it’s Edwin and Gabi’s way of life. In constant pursuit of innovation and challenges to provide the best possible listening experience for our customers.
What will be the main focus for both brands in the near future?
Our tactical and strategic plans will lead to an important increase of our product portfolio within the next couple of months. With both brands heavily focusing on innovation and performance to ensure the best possible high end home -and portable audio experience.
If one were to ask Edwin and Gabi about their number one motive to create the best possible sound no doubt their answer will be: music. What’s your background, how does music fit into your day to day life?
My love for music has always been big, ever since I was young, though any real musical talent was – compared to Gabi – was very limited. That has installed a huge respect for artists who, in whatever genre, make singing or playing an instrument effortlessly, like it’s easy, when we know that is certainly not the case.
Even the first cords can grab the attention hundreds or thousands of listeners. I believe music is a wonderful way of connecting with others and to connect with your own passion and emotions. Music connects people like nothing else can. That’s why music deserves to be heard as good as possible. And that is exactly the goal of both brands: to create the best possible sound quality.
We will meet up with Robert again in about a year to look back at this one and discuss the current events in 2020. To be continued…!
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