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Audio Collaborative 2019

Speaker Line-up


Carsten Olesen, President, Consumer Audio Division - HARMAN

Carsten Olesen started his career with HARMAN in 1999. He started as a Brand Director for HARMAN International, then moved to the sales organization, where he was responsible for commercial strategy, execution of business plan, strategic account development and commercial and distribution Policy.

In January 2009, he became the Commercial Director for HARMAN International in the EMEA Region. In 2012, he moved to the position of GM & VP of the EMEA region. Under his leadership the EMEA organization has undergone massive growth, as has the consumer audio market. 2017 was the most successful year under his leadership yet, when the region delivered a 34% growth in turnover, while improving the profitability of the P&L.

In June, 2019, Mr. Olesen was promoted to the position of President of the Consumer Audio Division. In this new role, Carsten leads global consumer audio business including the engineering and design functions.

Carsten Olesen holds both engineering and business administration degrees. Prior to Joining Harman he worked for a different CE brand and was involved in pro audio and system configuration.



Jason Phipps, Commissioning Editor for Podcast - BBC 

Jason Phipps is the BBC's Commissioner for Podcasts. He was Head of Audio at the Guardian from 2014 to 2018 and has worked in podcast production and commissioning for over a decade. He was at BBC for over eight year until 2007 when he joined the Guardian as an executive producer.

At the BBC, he commissions podcasts for BBC Sounds, which brings together live and on-demand radio, music and podcasts into a single personalised app. Part of Jason's role is to innovate and grow new voices by commissioning content specifically for younger audiences. Recent commissions include: NB, a podcast about coming out as a non-binary; James Acaster's Perfect Sounds 2016 and No Country for Young Women. Other commissions in the pipeline include an ethical spin on true crime and a ten-part investigative series from Irish indie Second Captains.


Bill Wyman, VP Global Marketing, Car Audio - HARMAN

Bill Wyman brings over 20 years of diverse marketing experience with some of the world’s most recognized consumer brands to his role as HARMAN’s Vice President of Global Marketing for Car Audio. He spearheads the development and execution of global marketing strategies with HARMAN’s automotive partners, working to build brand equity and drive take rate growth across all customers and HARMAN’s portfolio of car audio brands. Prior to joining HARMAN, Bill held various senior marketing positions at PepsiCo, Duracell and Nabisco.


Hannah Telfer, Managing Director, Audiences & Audio - Penguin Random House UK

As Managing Director for Audiences & Audio at Penguin Random House UK, Hannah looks after Penguin Random House Audio, the Penguin Live and Penguin Connect events businesses, audience insight and their audience platforms. Hannah is also a trustee of The Reading Agency and a mentor with Creative Access.

Penguin Random House Audio is the UK's No.1 publisher of audiobooks, with a list packed full of award-winners and bestsellers from Michelle Obama's 'Becoming' to Yuval Noah Harari's 'Sapiens'. They are also the global publisher of BBC Audio, and producer of many hit podcasts including the Penguin Podcast and Dolly Alderton's Love Stories. 


Andreas Ehret, Director, Technology Marketing - Dolby

Andreas has been active as a technology leader in the audio industry for over two decades. He joined Dolby back in 2007 and since then served the company in various engineering and technology VP leadership roles, managing the teams that created solutions scaling into billions of consumer devices.

Over the past couple of years, his focus had been on the market introduction of Dolby’s next generation audio codec AC-4, as well as contributions to bring the Atmos music experience to life. More recently, Andreas has shifted his role towards an outbound role – working on the intersections of technology and innovation, business development, and media industry relationships to create impactful consumer experiences.

Andreas is a strong believer in concepts such as use-case driven exploration, lean principles, rapid prototyping, collaboration with the industry, maintaining artistic intent, and validating consumer value.


Guillaume Le Nost, Executive Director, Creative Technologies - L-Acoustics

Guillaume Le Nost holds advanced degrees in Acoustics and Electric and Electronics Engineering obtained while leading research projects for some of France’s largest corporations, coupled with a start-up entrepreneurial background in audio technologies applied to gaming and VR. Le Nost brings this rich cross-disciplinary and future-focused mindset to the L Acoustics team, resolving technical challenges that would confound most with fresh perspectives.

Le Nost played a pivotal role in the earliest R&D efforts that led to the development of L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound, the groundbreaking multidimensional audio technology from L-Acoustics. Since its market début in 2016, L-ISA technology has been deployed and enjoyed on tour, at events, and in permanent installations around the world. Early adopters include Ennio Morricone, Lorde, BBC Proms, The Classic BRIT Awards, alt-J, Aerosmith, Childish Gambino, Bon Iver and more. By the end of 2019, more than 10 million people worldwide will have experienced shows and events presented in L-ISA.


Anders Andreen, CEO - Urbanista

Anders has held the CEO position of Urbanista for the last 6 years, building it up from a start-up to one of the leading brands in the Nordics and is sold by retailers across the world. Experiencing fast growth, Urbanista is creating products for modern and active people who appreciate both design and function. 

Prior to Urbanista, Anders was the CEO of a Design Agency that services small and large brands with attractive and relevant graphical identities and packaging design. This is still the core mindset of Urbanista. Anders also had leading positions at OSM Global, doing accessories for mobile phones and Flextronics, producing phones for Sony Ericsson.


Laurence Hobden, Research & Applied Technologies Team Leader - Meridian Audio

Laurence Hobden is Research and Applied Technologies Team Leader at Meridian Audio in Cambridgeshire, UK. Whilst studying for his masters in Electronic Engineering with Music Technology Systems at the University of York he undertook an industrial placement year with Meridian which he spent researching the possibilities of manipulating psychoacoustic localisation cues in order to change the perceived location of loudspeakers. Once he completed his undergraduate studies, he carried out a PhD at the University of York's Audio Lab, sponsored by Meridian, investigating the relationship between the morphology of the human ear and spectral cues within head-related transfer functions. He has been working full time at Meridian for two and a half years now, where he oversees Meridian’s research and the application of Meridian's technologies and expertise with a number of brand partners within automotive, marine, airline and consumer electronics.


Ruth Fitzsimons, Managing Director - Podfront UK

Ruth Fitzsimons is the Managing Director at Podfront UK, a joint venture between two of the world's biggest podcast companies Stitcher and Wondery. Prior to this, she was SVP of International Operations at the podcast platform Audioboom, where she oversaw the growth of Audioboom's UK, lndian and Australian operations, taking the company from being a start-up to being an established industry player, operating on four continents. Over the last 5 years, Ruth has been at forefront of content strategy and commissioning, distribution and advertising partnerships. Ruth's background is as an award-winning radio producer and journalist with production credits in UK and Ireland including BBC, Global’s LBC, RTÉ and Newstalk.


Laurence Harrison, Director of Automotive Partnerships - Radioplayer

Laurence leads Radioplayer’s work with the automotive industry across Europe and Internationally, building partnerships with the leading car manufacturers and multimedia technology suppliers around metadata, HMI design and smart radio development in connected and autonomous cars. He is also Chairman of the WorldDAB Automotive Group, a collaboration of broadcasters, car manufacturers and technology suppliers, and leads the work on developing the future in-car radio user experience. He previously worked for Digital Radio UK where he led the partnerships with car manufacturers that saw digital radio included as standard in all new cars.


Mirek Stiles, Head of Audio Products - Abbey Road Studios

Mirek Stiles started working at Abbey Road Studios as a recording engineer in 1998, working on a diverse range of projects including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Beatles Anthology, Muse, Kanye West, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Paul McCartney. Mirek also worked as a Digital Producer in the Abbey Road Interactive department on a range of DVD and Blu-ray titles including Roxy Music, Ringo Starr and Reservoir Dogs.

Today, Mirek runs the studio’s Audio Products department leading development of a range of software and hardware releases based on Abbey Road’s historic recording IP with partners Waves Audio and Chandler Limited. Mirek also sits on the board and acts as an advisor on the Abbey Road Red incubation programme and is currently exploring and experimenting with Spatial Audio over headphones, ambisonics and multi-microphone array recording techniques. Recent projects include collaborations with film/TV and video game composer Stephen Barton, joint research with the University of York and chairing the Abbey Road Spatial Audio Forum, bringing together members from gaming, broadcast, VR, music production and film.

A regular speaker at AES, IFA and other specialist audio forums, as well as broadcast TV & radio, Mirek’s expertise spans over 20 years and every department within the studios, from analogue and vintage recording workflows through to the latest immersive medias including 6 Degrees of Freedom Virtual Reality and Dolby ATMOS capturing and rendering options.


Kurt Thielen, CEO - Zebralution

Kurt Thielen is the founder and CEO of Zebralution, one of the biggest digital distributors for music and audiobooks in the world. Thielen started his career working in a record shop in 1979 and was the Head of Rough Trade Records and later Zomba Records in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for more than 20 years, working with a wide range of acts from New Order and The Smiths to Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. After the company was sold he founded Zebralution as the first real digital distribution company in Germany with a worldwide focus.

In 2007, the Warner Music Group acquired Zebralution. Since 2010, digital audiobook, and especially streaming has become an important factor in Zebralution’s portfolio. In April 2017, Thielen bought Zebralution back from Warner together with experienced industry executives.

Zebralution works with all audiobook publishers, big and small in Germany but the focus is becoming increasingly international, expanding to English and foreign language territories. To complete their 'All Audio' approach Thielen founded German podcast company last year. In October 2018 IG Hoerbuch, the body of the German audiobook publishers, awarded Thielen as 'Audiobook Person of the Year 2018'.


Petros Belimpasakis, Director of Category Management - Bang & Olufsen

Bio coming soon...



If you are interested in speaking at this prestigious event, please get in touch via the email address below:

Sarah Carroll