In retrospect, there was little in Gina Harman’s not-for-profit professional background to suggest a career path that would lead to the presidency of the $500 million consumer division of Harman International—and the day-to-day management of the Harman Kardon, JBL, Infinity, Lexicon and Mark Levinson brand portfolio.
In fact, says Harman, in 1985, she came to the company founded by her father, Dr. Sidney Harman, “on a dare. Sidney had recently repurchased Harman Kardon … I had never intended to come into the business.
“My attitude about corporate America had never been a particularly positive one,” she continues, “and Sidney’s dare was, ‘Come work at this company and if your theories are proven right, you’ll be gone within a year. And if your theories are proven wrong, you’ll stay as long as you want.’”