WS Audiology Announces Jan Makela to Succeed Eric Bernard as WS Audiology President and CEO

ws audiology hq
April 16, 2024

LYNGE, DENMARK – WS Audiology (WSA) announced today that Jan Makela has been appointed as its President and CEO, succeeding Eric Bernard, with effect from July 15, 2024. 

Jan Makela

“The CEO succession at WSA has been well planned and agreed between Eric and the owners, the Tøpholm and Westermann families and EQT. The owners and the board express their deep gratitude for Eric’s relentless commitment to WSA and his many  contributions and achievements,” commented WSA Board Chair Lars Rasmussen. “He has led the company through the first 5 years after the merger, growing revenues by more than 50%, strengthening the leadership team,  driving employee engagement levels to best in class and developing WSA into a sustainability leader. With the appointment of Jan Makela, we have a strong successor  with an impeccable track record. The board is confident that Jan will lead WSA into the  next cycle of profitable growth, innovation leadership and consistent execution.” 

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to enter the world of hearing care and lead WSA,  which is recognized as one of the most innovative MedTech companies in the world, enabling millions of people with hearing loss to continue to participate fully in society. The growth opportunities in hearing care are outstanding, as global markets are underserved. I am inspired by WSA’s purpose: Wonderful Sound for All, and look forward to working  closely with the team and contributing to the company’s success.” 

–Jan Makela

Jan Makela will join WSA from GE HealthCare where he currently is President and CEO of  Imaging, overseeing a business with revenues of approximately USD $10B and over  10.000 employees. Jan brings 17 years of diverse and successful experience in the medical device and life sciences industries, having led businesses in field services, radiology  imaging, diagnostic pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. He will be  moving with his family from the UK to Denmark in the coming months. 

Eric Bernard

“My time at WSA has been one of the most exciting of my career. Together with a  dedicated leadership team, and supported by our owners, we have been able to build WSA  into a leading player in the hearing aid industry. I would like to thank our employees for  their tremendous commitment and sincerely wish Jan lots of success.” 

Eric Bernard will support Jan Makela in his transition to the new role and will after a short  break serve as an industry advisor to EQT. 

About Jan Makela 

  • Jan Makela is currently the President and CEO of GE HealthCare Imaging, which  offers industry-leading technologies and services across MR, CT, PET, nuclear  medicine, x-ray, women’s health, interventional, surgery, imaging analytics, and  software. 
  • From 2017 to 2020 Jan served as President and CEO of GE HealthCare Global Services. 
  • He joined GE Capital in 2000 and moved to GE HealthCare in 2007 to lead the Diagnostic Imaging Services business across Northern Europe. He later served as  Chief Operations Officer for the European region.  
  • Jan began his career in engineering and production management with M&M/Mars  Inc., followed by leadership roles at A.T. Kearney management consultants before  joining GE.  
  • He has a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Cambridge.   


About WS Audiology  

Formed in 2019, through the merger of Sivantos and Widex, WS Audiology combines over 140 years’ experience in pioneering the use of technology to help people with hearing loss  hear the sounds that make life wonderful. With truly differentiated brands like Widex,  Signia, Rexton, Audio Service and Vibe, and with diverse assets across wholesale, retail,  online, managed care and diagnostic solutions, we are active in over 130 markets. WS  Audiology employs 12,500+ people and is privately owned by the Tøpholm and Westermann families, as well as funds under the management of EQT. As a global leader,  our ambition is to unlock human potential by making wonderful sound part of everyone’s life. Learn more at 


Source: WSA

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