Starkey's Executive Team

Bill Austin Owner and CEO

Bill Austin

Bill Austin

Owner and CEO

William F. Austin — or Bill Austin, as most know him — is the founder, principal owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Starkey Hearing Technologies.

In 1961, to help pay for college and with the goal of attending medical school to become a missionary doctor, Bill started in the hearing aid industry making ear pieces in his uncle’s shop. His role quickly expanded, and he began designing hearing aids as well. One day, Bill worked tirelessly to fashion a hearing aid for a patient with profound difficulties who others had given up on. The joy in the man’s eyes when he could finally hear better set Bill on his life’s mission — to help the world hear. Bill then realized that through this industry, he could impact and help more lives than by working alone as a missionary doctor, and that his life would have a greater value. So, Bill started his own company. Bill’s company, in the 1960s, serviced and repaired more hearing aids from any manufacturer than anyone else in the world, and Bill and his expanding team continued to design, manufacture, and sell in-the-ear hearing aids. In 1970, Bill Austin purchased a three-employee company for $13,000 called Starkey Laboratories, which was making ear molds for Bill’s business. Bill then folded his larger operation under the Starkey name, and the rest is history. Bill’s original repair shop still operates within Starkey.

More than 50 years later, Bill’s business acumen has grown Starkey Hearing Technologies into what it is today: the only American-owned and operated global hearing aid manufacturer. Starkey continues to set itself apart in the industry through its quality, service and innovation.

Now in his sixth decade in the industry, Bill is at his happiest when personally providing and assisting people with hearing aids. When necessary, Bill works day and night, often seven days a week, to ensure that everyone receives the care and treatment needed to utilize their own hearing aids. Bill Austin’s generosity and steadfast belief that the gift of hearing can change the world led him to found Starkey Hearing Foundation, a charity that gives free hearing aids to those in need around the world. Bill and his wife, Tani Austin, travel with the Foundation on dozens of hearing missions every year. Alongside audiologists, hearing professionals and other volunteers, Bill has helped the poor on missions in more than 100 countries and on every continent except Antarctica.

Nationally and internationally, Bill has been a part of helping more people achieve better hearing with hearing aids than anyone else in the history of the industry. In addition to the young children in third-world countries he has witnessed hear for the first time, Bill has personally assisted five U.S. Presidents, two Popes, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela with Starkey hearing aids, to name a few. However, no matter a person’s reputation or financial means, Bill treats every person with the same respect and kindness; providing the gift of hearing is bigger than him — it’s a lifelong commitment to change the world.

For his philanthropic work, Bill Austin has received numerous honors, including: the Horatio Alger Award, Mexico’s Aztec Eagle Award, the Jefferson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award, the National Caring Award, the Humanitarian Award from Variety International, and the AG Bell Lifetime Achievement Award. At the United Nations in 2017, Bill Austin was named the first Goodwill Global Ambassador for Ear and Hearing Health.

Tani Austin Chief Philanthropy Officer

Brandon Sawalich President

Achin Bhowmik, Ph.D. Chief Technology Officer & Executive Vice President of Engineering

Sara Burdak, Au.D. Chief Audiology Officer

Bill Courtney Chief Financial Officer

Dave Fabry, Ph.D. Chief Innovation Officer

Chris Hillman Chief Operations Officer

Mary Jeffries Chief Strategy Officer

Jeffrey Krautkramer Chief Human Resources Officer

Chris McCormick Chief Commercial Officer

Paul Phillips Executive Vice President of International Sales

Doug Reynolds Chief Information Officer

Lisa Richards Chief Experience Officer

Steve Richards Executive Vice President of North American Sales

Thomas Ting General Counsel

Contact Us

Worldwide Headquarters
Starkey Hearing Technologies
6700 Washington Avenue S.
Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3476

Phone
(800) 328-8602
(952) 941-6401

Starkey Hearing Technologies is a world leader in the design, development and distribution of comprehensive hearing solutions. We believe in using superior hearing technology as a means to something even greater — creating meaningful connections between people and their worlds.

With 21 facilities in more than 100 markets around the globe, Starkey Hearing Technologies is an industry leader in hearing instrument manufacturing. We create top quality diagnostic equipment, hearing protection products, wireless technology and unique hearing solutions for every environment.