Meet the HARMAN Luxury Audio Team
Name: Dave Wright
Position/Job Title: Senior Global Product Line Manager
With HARMAN Since 2021 (this time)
With Meet The HARMAN Luxury Team, our goal is for you to get to know us better. In each edition we feature a different member of the team, and this month it's Dave Wright, Senior Global Product Line Manager – Luxury Audio.
How would you describe what you do in your current role?
I, like most Product Managers, identify the needs of the customer and align those with the business objectives of the company. This ensures that customers will be happy and the company will make money.
What did you study in school? Did you always imagine yourself doing something like what you’re doing now, or did the fates just take you in that direction?
This may sound weird, but nothing. When I graduated from high school I was undecided on a direction, so I never dreamed I would be able to create great sounding audio products that make people happy.
How did your career path lead you to HARMAN?
My career actually started with HARMAN back in 1988. I worked for HARMAN Consumer Group as a consumer product quality manager for 10 years and then I moved to Madrigal Audio Labs, which was the home of Mark Levinson and Revel back in the day. Having spent 15 years in the industry under various roles, my career continued with such companies as Monster Cable, Good Guys, Tweeter, Russound and Savant. For a 10-year period I became a technical writer focusing on the AV industry and even had my own company for a spell. Flash forward to 2021 and I received a call from David Tovissi, whom I knew from Monster Cable and Tweeter, asking me if I was available, as they were looking for a Product Manager. I jumped at the chance to come back to the company where I started and loved to work at for the first 15 years of my career.
What is the most important thing you have learned over your career?
I have learned that companies are all about the people and how those people work and treat others. My life on the outside as it were did not always go as planned, and in those situations the people were not always the best. Since being back at HARMAN I have met some very nice, highly intelligent people - most of whom are members of the Luxury Audio team. The GPLMs go to lunch together every day and others on the team sometimes join us. We are a team at work and on the outside as well, as we all get along amazingly.
Any other advice you would offer people just starting out in this industry?
Ask questions, pay attention to those with experience, and learn the philosophy that makes things work. People may have a degree, but that is just a start as it provides the basics. There is so much to learn about our industry and the only way is to learn from the veterans who have been in the trenches for decades.
What are you most proud of in your life?
Being able to have a 30+ year career and not just a job without the benefit of a degree. Don’t get me wrong, degrees are important, but having been able to grow by the on-the-job experience and having people acknowledge me for me and not for a piece of paper is pretty awesome sometimes. And I have to say that I owe that to those who were at HARMAN back in the day. People like John Eargle, who always answered my questions and treated me with respect.
When did you first realize you had a passion for music or audio?
When I was entering junior high school. Sure I had interest before, but the passion did not reveal itself until I joined the jazz band in school playing the trumpet. That is were the passion started to grow. That passion increased after I started working for HARMAN in 1988 and was around the great people who worked here and had access to high-end audio products.
What current technology impresses you the most?
I don’t know really. There are some technologies that are impressive, but I kind of see them all equally.
What's your favorite music genre?
Rock is the best way to describe it as it actually covers multiple sub-genres like Classic Rock, Jazz, R&B, Dance and even Hip-Hop. My musical tastes are varied and I can’t think of a time where I have played only one genre for an extended period of time.
The desert island question, of course. If you were marooned for eternity and could listen to only three albums, what would they be?
There are so many that I can listen to for days, but if I only get three they would be:
• Miles Davis, Kind of Blue – One of the first albums I ever purchased when I was just a kid.
• Heart, Bebe Le Strange – The album that got me into Heart and the one that I feel represents the band best.
• Creedence Clearwater Revival, Willie and the Poor Boys – Another album that introduced me to the band and contains songs that define the band.
You have the floor. In closing, tell us anything else you want us to know about yourself.
Aside for my love of music and audio, I also have a deep passion for everything automobile. Most weekends I can be found watching an F1, GT Car, or WEC race, or out and about cruising down some twisty road. While I love all cars, I am a huge Volkswagen nut, from air-cooled Type 1s to the current cars, I go nuts for anything they produce, and that includes the sub-brands like Porsche, as well.