003 IR Dashboard

A global company
with a local approach

  • 1904

    Hans Demant starts a hearing aid company on 8 June. Passionate to help his hearing-impaired wife lead a better life, he buys a hearing instrument for her after learning that the Danish born Queen Alexandra of England was wearing one at her 1902 coronation. He wins a contract with the American manufacturer General Acoustic Company and sells his first hearing aid in Odense, Denmark.

    1904 Coronation
  • 1907

    Hans Demant and his family move to Copenhagen where he sells the first Acousticon church hearing aid system, featuring a double microphone and four earpieces.

    1907 Hans Demant
  • 1908

    Hans Demant becomes the sole distributor of Acousticon hearing aids for Scandinavia with an orderbook building up.

    1908 Orderbook
  • 1910

    Hans Demant's son, William Demant, takes over the company upon his father's death.

    1910 Hearing devices
  • 1920

    Recognising a business opportunity, William Demant starts visiting churches in Denmark and gets Acousticon church hearing aid systems installed in several churches around the country.

    1920 Church inside
  • 1923

    William moves the company to the centre of Copenhagen and starts a licence production of hearing aids. The new hearing aid name Acousticus becomes a registered trademark.

    1923 William Demant
  • 1929

    William begins to import unassembled hearing aids without wires or batteries. He sets up a production line on Danish soil to assemble the devices.

    1929 Production line
  • 1938

    Equipped with William Demant's Acousticon Seatphone, Denmark's most modern cinema, Palladium, is inaugurated, allowing hearing-impaired moviegoers to follow the soundtrack from specially modified seats.

    1938 Palladium
  • 1939

    The company now has 15 employees. Loudspeaker systems are installed in Kastrup airport.

    1939 Acusticon
  • 1940

    During World War 2 (1939-1945), William Demant is unable to import goods from USA, England or France. He decides to produce components for the latest Acousticon devices in Denmark. He then manufactures the first Danish-made licensed hearing device - the Acousticus - a copy of the original Acousticon model.

    1940 Manufacturing Acusticus
  • 1946

    William Demant enters into partnership with American hearing aid producer, Charles Lehman. Together they establish the American-Danish Oticon Corporation, headquartered in Copenhagen.

    1946 Oticon Corporation
  • 1957

    William and his wife Ida Emilie donates 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 holding approx. 55-60% of the shares through the investment company William Demant Invest A/S.

    1957 Oticon Foundation
  • 1968

    Bent Simonsen, Henning Mønsted, Torben Nielsen and Bengt Danielsen take over the management of Oticon, with Bent Simonsen as General Manager. Opening of subsidiaries in Norway and Switzerland.

    1968 Management
  • 1973

    The production facilities are expanded by a factory in Denmark and a factory in Scotland.

    1973 Expansion
  • 1977

    The Research Centre Eriksholm is inaugurated.

    1977 Eriksholm
  • 1978

    The world's first hearing aid with the ability to switch between omni and directional microphones, the Oticon E24V, is launched.

    1978 Oticon E24V
  • 1983

    Oticon Holding is established.

    1983 Oticon Holding
  • 1988

    Lars Kolind is appointed CEO of Oticon.

    1988 Lars Kolind
  • 1991

    Headquarters move to a new location at Strandvejen. Under the motto "Time to think the unthinkable" new and revolutionary ways of working are introduced across the whole company. With Lars Kolind and, from January 1992, Niels Jacobsen leading the way, Oticon enters a new phase of transformation.

    1991 Strandvejen
  • 1995

    1995 becomes a year of major changes: in January, the Group acquires Bernafon - a hearing aid manufacturer based in Switzerland which is today a separate business unit in the William Demant Group. In May, William Demant Holding is listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

    1995 Copenhagen Stock Exchange
  • 1996

    Oticon launches the first fully digital hearing device, DigiFocus. Our users can now enjoy fully automatic volume control and immaculate sound quality.

    1996 DigiFocus
  • 1997

    In May, parent company Oticon Holding A/S changes name to William Demant Holding. The kite logo symbolises overview, vision and steering. Also, Phonic Ear is acquired this year. In December, Lars Kolind resigns, Niels Jacobsen is appointed CEO and, from April 1998, takes over and continues driving the company forward to international success.

    1997 Niels Jacobsen
  • 2000

    Interacoustics is acquired. Interacoustics manufactures audiometers and is today an important part of the Group's Diagnostic Instruments activity area.

    2000 Interacoustics
  • 2003

    Sennheiser Communications A/S is established as a joint venture between German Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG and William Demant Holding A/S.

    2003 Headset
  • 2007

    Oticon launches Epoq, a unique product with wireless binaural capability, revealing more about the nature and origin of sounds than any other solution available.

    2007 Epoq
  • 2008

    With the acquisition of Amplivox in 2008 and Grason Stadler in 2009, the Diagnostic Instruments activity area of William Demant Holding has solidified its position as the world's largest supplier of diagnostic equipment.

    2008 Diagnostic equipment
  • 2009

    Oticon Medical enters the market for bone-anchored hearing systems and releases its first products for sale.

    2009 First BAHS
  • 2010

    Otix Global is acquired giving the Group a third hearing aid brand, Sonic.

    2010 Sonic
  • 2013

    An important milestone is reached, as the Group acquires French Neurelec and thus gaining access to the important hearing implant market.

    2013 Neurelec implant
  • 2015

    A majority stake in the French retailer, Audika, is acquired, and the Group launches its own implant, Neuro.

    2015 Audika