Industry pioneer passes away

AUTHOR: Inavate

Fred R. Beyer, shareholder and longtime Managing Director of beyerdynamic GmbH & Co. KG died June 5, 2008 in Heilbronn, Germany. He will be best remembered as a man who did not bow to convention yet still maintained a strong sense of traditionalism.

The company's own obituary reads:

After his father’s death in 1959, Fred took over as Managing Director at the age of 26 of the still family-owned manufacturing business and held that position until his retirement in 2002.

He gave up a very promising career with the US Army and with it his great dream of a military life, although anyone visiting him at the factory could be forgiven for thinking that they had landed in the army because of his impressive collection of military vehicles and his management style.

He led beyerdynamic for over forty years and was instrumental in helping to make the headphones and microphones manufactured in Heilbronn world famous. Under his guidance beyerdynamic manufactured the first wireless microphone in 1962, and the classic DT100 headphone in 1965, which had a 'space age' look compared to other headphones of the time, and is to this day widely regarded as the music industry standard.

Offices in the UK and in the USA helped expand the brand name into one of the audio industry’s most respected German family owned businesses. Today, beyerdynamic products have developed far beyond just microphones and headphones. The company now leads the world with their wireless conference systems MCW-D and the Headzone 5.1 monitoring headphone products, which are the pinnacle of 80 years of development.

In Fred R. Beyer the company has lost an important figurehead, whose philosophy and approach will remain with company well into the future. He was not a public person. The employees admired his reserved and honest character. Hierarchies were of little importance to him. As the MD he was much loved and even after his retirement in 2002, he maintained close personal contact with many of his long-serving employees, management, the advisory board and his co-shareholders.

Mr. Beyer was laid to rest in the family plot in the Hauptfriedhof- Heilbronn, Germany on June 10, 2008. He is survived by two sisters, his wife and daughter.