Sivantos boasts one of the longest histories in the industry. Originally part of the Siemens group, the company began the commercial manufacturing of hearing aids in 1913 in Berlin, and has continued to grow over the years to become one of the largest manufacturers in the world. Dr Roger Radke, CEO of Sivantos, began working for Siemens 26 years ago.
Roger himself knows the business well. He started working for Siemens in 1989 in the company’s medical imaging division. In 2000, Roger was put in charge of the hearing aid branch of Siemens, which he ran for four years before moving to the US to run the Siemens Water Technology division. In 2008, he left Siemens, but was back at the hearing aid business only two years later to launch the company turnaround. As he explains, having been with Siemens, and now Sivantos, for such a long period, he has seen the business go through a number of changes, especially since he came back on as CEO in 2010.
“The Siemens hearing aid business had been very successful for most of its life, and we have been around for almost 150 years,” Roger says. “A few years back, between 2005 and 2010, for various reasons the company underperformed. It lost market share against competition, and profitability had eroded. In 2010, when I came back, it was a classical turnaround situation where we focused on three main areas: restoring confidence in customers and employees, building a new management team with deep industry know-how and strong execution capabilities, and dramatically improving product performance by investing into new platform developments.”
Roger’s strategy was a success. The company recovered from previous low levels and reclaimed leadership positions in various core markets. This made it an attractive prospect for potential acquirers, and in early 2015, Siemens finally sold the company to private equity company EQT.
“Since 2012, the company has been back on a solid growth path with increasing momentum that resulted in market share gains and a substantial improvement in profitability.
“Life has changed for the better with the new ownership. EQT provides us with very effective strategic governance and commands the resources for us to realise our full potential. Our recently published financial results demonstrate that we continue to perform very well and are creating substantial value for our shareholders.”