Joe Atkins, the former majority owner and chairman of Bowers & Wilkins, stays on as B&W’s CEO under new ownership.
Eva Automation was founded in 2014 to build multiroom AV products and controls. The purchase includes theBowers & Wilkins, Rotel, and Classe Audio brands.
Joe Atkins, the former majority owner and chairman of Bowers & Wilkins, will become CEO of the combined companies, which will take on the Bowers & Wilkins name. Atkins will also take a “significant equity stake” in the combined companies, Eva said.
Eva Automation was co-founded by three entrepreneurs, including chairman Gideon Yu, a former Facebook and YouTube executive, with investments from tech executives and investment fund Formation 8, which invested in Oculus before it was purchased by Facebook. Yu, who was Eva’s chairman and CEO, becomes executive chairman of the combined companies.
Eva was founded to develop high-quality multiroom AV products that would be easy to use and set up and be controlled from a single integrated interface, Yu told TWICE. That continues to be Eva’s goal, but Eva decided it could “accelerate our mission” by partnering with a “more established super-high-quality brand,” Yu explained. “We can’t do it alone as a standalone startup company” because of competition in the CE industry, he said. Yu said he talked “to a lot” of audio companies in the process of choosing a partner.
All new products will be sold under the Bowers & Wilkins brand, none under the Eva Automation brand.