Amar Bose donates his company to MIT

By on May 1, 2011, 4:12 PM

Dr. Amar Bose, founder of the company that bears his name, has given the majority of the stock of Bose Corporation to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The donation is in the form of non-voting shares. MIT will receive annual cash dividends on those shares when dividends are paid by Bose Corporation; MIT says it will use the money to sustain and advance its education and research mission.

Under the terms of the gift, MIT cannot sell its Bose shares and will not participate in the management or governance of Bose Corporation. The company, which was founded in 1964, will remain private and independent, and operate as it always has, with no change in strategy or leadership.

Dr. Bose, who received his bachelor's degree, master's degree, and Ph.D from MIT, all in electrical engineering, will remain Bose Corporation's Chairman and Technical Director. Bose was also asked to join the faculty in 1956, and accepted with the intention of teaching undergraduate electrical engineering for no more than two years, but continued as a member of the MIT faculty until 2001.

Headquartered in Framingham, Bose Corporation is a private company perhaps best known for its audio products, including speakers and sound systems. Last year, Bose Corporation had revenue of over $2 billion.

In a letter to Bose Corporation employees, Dr. Bose paid tribute to his mentors at MIT: Professors Y. W. Lee, Norbert Wiener, and Jerome Wiesner, while explaining that the gift represents his long-held desire to support MIT education. He also reaffirmed the company's mission to play for the long run: "We will continue to remain true to the principles upon which our company was founded."

The actual value of the donation was not disclosed. "Dr. Bose and Bose Corp., a privately held company, keep details of financial matters confidential," an MIT spokesperson said in a statement. "MIT will honor that confidentiality and will not discuss the financial details of this gift."

"Amar Bose gives us a great gift today, but he also serves as a superb example for MIT graduates who yearn to cut their own path," MIT President Susan Hockfield said in a statement. "Dr. Bose set the highest teaching standards, for which he is still admired and loved by his faculty colleagues and the many students he taught. His insatiable curiosity propelled remarkable research, both at MIT and within the company he founded. Dr. Bose has always been more concerned about the next two decades than about the next two quarters. Dr. Bose has asked us not to shine too bright a spotlight on him today. So to honor that wish, let us simply celebrate Dr. Bose's profound belief in the transformative power of an MIT education."

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