Starkey Breaks Boundary by Appointing Medical Doctor to Executive Team

Starkey selects Dr. Archelle Georgiou as the industry’s first and only Chief Health Officer

MINNEAPOLIS, February 4, 2020 – As part of its growing commitment to improving overall health and wellness through better hearing and expanding the company’s global footprint, Starkey has created two new strategic leadership roles. Effective today, Dr. Archelle Georgiou is the company’s new Chief Health Officer. Starting February 10, industry veteran Heinz Ruch will take on the role of Chief Business Development Officer.

Dr. Georgiou is a nationally recognized physician, healthcare industry expert, reporter and author. She earned her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and served as a senior executive and Chief Medical Officer of United Healthcare from 1995 to 2007. Since then, she has worked as a consultant for various clients and projects aimed at improving health and the healthcare system.

“Starkey is leading the industry in Healthable technology and is truly evolving from a hearing aid manufacturer to a hearing healthcare company. I am honored to be a part of this pivotal moment in the organization’s long and successful history,” said Dr. Archelle Georgiou. “We know the ear is an important gateway to better health, and Starkey has developed groundbreaking technology to unlock enormous opportunities. Now, in this new decade of the digital patient, people need to be their own advocates. Starkey is developing innovative tools and technologies to help them do that.”

Growing evidence shows treatment of hearing loss with hearing aids can improve or limit health issues such as cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease. As the world’s first Healthable hearing aid, Livio AI is the only hearing aid to use artificial intelligence to monitor brain and body activity, allowing people of all ages to take a proactive approach to their overall wellness. It was named to TIME’s list of Best Inventions of 2019 and The Verge’s list of 100 best gadgets of the decade.

“At Starkey, we are doubling down on a business strategy that we believe will help more people live healthier lives,” said Starkey President Brandon Sawalich. “Dr. Georgiou will help lead the way by developing strategic partnerships in the medical community to bring hearing health to the forefront of overall health. We’re also very pleased to welcome a hearing industry MVP, Heinz Ruch, to the Starkey family.”

As the former President and CEO of a major hearing aid retailer in the US, Heinz Ruch will bring more than 20 years of experience, leadership and knowledge to Starkey. In his new role, Ruch will lead existing corporate strategies aimed at growing and developing Starkey’s global footprint and will also assume oversight of Starkey’s US Networks, Audibel and NuEar, and its third-party business unit, American Hearing Benefits.

Finally, to further maximize existing talent and experience on its leadership team, Starkey has realigned its global market development organization as follows:

“It is a new day at Starkey,” said Sawalich. “I am so proud to lead this team of talented people who are passionate about fulfilling the vision of Bill Austin, So the World May Hear.”

About Starkey Hearing Technologies
Starkey Hearing Technologies is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Founded by Bill Austin in 1967, Starkey is known for its innovative design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. Led today by President Brandon Sawalich, Starkey is the only American-owned and operated provider of hearing technologies. The company has more than 6,000 employees, operates 26+ facilities and does business in more than 100 markets worldwide. Learn more at

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