Bose donates majority shareholding in company to MIT

Bose founder Amar Bose has donated the majority of the shares in his company to his old university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr Bose (left), who is now 81 and suffered a stroke last year, founded the company while working at MIT as a professor in the early 1960s.

Among the initial investors in the company was his MIT doctoral thesis advisor Dr YW Lee.

Amar Bose at MIT in 1955 with Y W Lee (far left), an early investor in the company, and mathematician Norbert Wiener (right)

The shares donated to MIT have non-voting status, and the university will take no part in the running of the company.

As a private company, Bose doesn't publish financial results, but is thought to have had revenues in excess of £2bn last year, while Bose himself has a net worth of around $1bn.

The 150-year-old university described the value of the gift as 'very significant': it has agreed that the shares won't be sold, which is unusual in the case of such donations.

Dr Bose graduated from MIT in 1951, and went on to take a Masters degree and PhD at the university. He taught there from 1956 until 2001, and founded his company in 1964 after being unimpressed with a high-end speaker system he'd bought in the mid-1950s.

From the outset, the company has invested heavily in research, working on speakers, headphones and psychoacoustics among other fields. The company currently employs some 9000 people.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.