William Demant

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William Demant Holding A/S
Publicly traded Aktieselskab
Traded as Nasdaq CopenhagenWDH
Industry Health care
Founded 1904
Headquarters Smørum, Denmark
Key people
Lars Nørby Johansen (Chairman), Niels Jacobsen (President and CEO)
Products Hearing aids, audiometric equipment
Revenue DKK 12.002 billion (2016)
DKK 1.942 billion (2016)
Profit DKK 1.464 billion (2016)
Total assets DKK 15.548 billion (end 2016)
Total equity DKK 6.966 billion (end 2016)
Number of employees
12 339 (average, 2016)
Subsidiaries Oticon
Website www.demant.com

The William Demant Holding Group is a leading international hearing health care company within hearing aids, audiometric equipment, and personal communication.


The William Demant Holding Group was founded in 1904 by Hans Demant, under the name Oticon. After his death in 1910, his son William Demant took over.

Already before World War I, Oticon increased its sales volume to cover Scandinavia and Saint Petersburg. In the twenties and thirties, a network of agents was established in Europe.

During World War II, Oticon started its own production due to the scarcity of goods from other countries.

In 1957, William and his wife Ida Emilie donated the Demant family's shares in the company to the Oticon Foundation. The Oticon Foundation's general aim is charity with particular emphasis on helping people with a hearing impairment and today the Oticon Foundation is the main shareholder in William Demant Holding A/S with a holding of app. 61%.

International expansion[edit]

During the 1990s the company expanded further, buying the Swiss hearing aid manufacturer Bernafon, Phonic Ear, the headset manufacturer DanaCom and Interacoustics.

In 1995 the company was listed at the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

In 1997 it was decided to change the name of the parent company from Oticon Holding A/S to William Demant Holding A/S because it was considered disadvantageous to use the same name, both for the Group, and for one of its businesses.

Today the company is led by President & CEO, Niels Jacobsen and board chairman Lars Nørby Johansen. New management changes take place on April 1, 2017. "President & CEO Niels Jacobsen has decided to step down after 25 years as member of the Executive Board in William Demant Holding to become CEO of William Demant Invest A/S. The present Chief Operating Officer (COO) Søren Nielsen will become new President & CEO of William Demant Holding."[1]

Today the company focuses on three separate business units:

Hearing Aids: Oticon, Bernafon, Sonic Innovations, Neurelec (cochlear implants) and Oticon Medical (Bone anchored hearing aids)

Diagnostic Instruments: Maico Diagnostics, Interacoustics, Amplivox and Grason-Stadler

Personal Communication: Phonic Ear, Sennheiser Communications

Instrument Dealers: Gordon Stowe & Associates Inc., Northeastern Technologies Group Inc., Midlantic Technologies Group Inc.


  1. ^ "Management change in William Demant Holding A/S". 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-02-23. 

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