Meet Torben Sorensen, CEO Bang & Olufsen

CHARGED speaks with Torben Sorensen, CEO of Denmark's most impressive name in high-end electronics, the global audio-visual technology and design leader, Bang & Olufsen.

  • E-Mail
By  Kate Concannon Published  January 28, 2002

Torben Sorensen, CEO B&O|~||~||~|What single piece of B&O kit do you feel neatly summarises everything that the company is about, in terms of what it is capable of delivering, core aesthetic values and company ethos?

The BeoSound 9000 and the new BeoVision 5, due to be launched in the Middle East next year, really express the unique delivery from Bang & Olufsen, where we combine design, functionality and userfriendliness, with state-of-the-art technology.

You used to work for Lego, and now B&O. Both are involved with entertainment and technology, to different degrees. What is the importance of these sources of leisure to our lives and what is the appeal for you in working within companies creating these sources?

It’s true that both Lego and Bang & Olufsen deliver leisure goods for joy and play — the only difference is the target age group! I am personally very pleased to play a key role in the development and marketing of goods that address the deeper and important human needs; the desire for simplicity, pleasure and aesthetics. These needs are eternal and our aim at Bang & Olufsen is to fill them with products of real value and substance.

What do you imagine the future holds for our species from an immediately physical point of view? Will we be cloned? Cyborg? How and where will we live?

I do not believe that development will happen quite so fast — the basic way of living may change materially, but the basic functions of human beings do not alter, and I doubt modern technology will be allowed or able to change any of these habits.

What are your thoughts on super audio CD? Is B&O likely to endorse this technology with the production of its own players?

It has yet to be proven that SACD or DVD-AUDIO will become important trends for consumers, but we acknowledge that technologically these innovations are delivering very outstanding sound (albeit beyond human hearing capabilities) and we seriously follow these trends to ensure we can meet the demand when it materialises. So far only 500 titles have been published on these technologies.

Are you a gadget man? What item of technology would you be lost without?

No, I really am not! I don’t tend to adopt new devices immediately, but I do use my Palm V as a phone and calendar directory. And I will try out any new clone of PDA or cellphone.

What was the first album you ever bought yourself?

Probably Stones’ “Get Ya’Ya-Ya Out”, but my taste in rock music hasn’t changed immensely. I’m still a fan of Dr. Hook, the Stones, Tina Turner, Clapton, as well as of classic jazz and rock’n’roll. A few years ago my daughters introduced me to Green Day and that’s OK, if played loud enough!

Are there any peculiar trends or crazes emerging in Denmark — consumer, social or otherwise — that you can share with those of us living in the Middle East?

I believe that there is a trend towards people being conscious of “quality of life” in a more spiritual and ecological sense, of a clean environment etc. Maybe this is a sign of the dream society, but I don’t think Danes are key trend-setters. You have to look to Tokyo or San Francisco to detect trends.

The Rivoli Group, importer and retailer of luxury brands in the Middle East, is the Master Dealer for Bang & Olufsen in the Gulf and Egypt. ||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code