powered by

Sharp/NEC: Christof Böhm Takes Over from Bernd Eberhardt

Handover of the baton at Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe – Bernd Eberhardt steps down after 30 years and hands over to Christof Böhm, who becomes the new President and Managing Director for Europe of the Japanese visual solution provider.

Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe announced the appointment of Christof Böhm as President and Managing Director. Effective February 1, 2024, he will succeed Bernd Eberhardt, who has decided to step down from his position as President and CEO of Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe.

With more than 30 years of experience at Sharp/NEC – most recently as Senior Vice President Engineering, Quality Assurance & Service – Christof Böhm, according to Sharp/NEC, has a “deep understanding of the display business” and its challenges to take the company into the next phase of development lead.

“We would like to thank Bernd Eberhardt for his long and very successful career and his 30 years at Sharp/NEC. His tireless efforts have led the company to many milestones, including the Sharp-NEC joint venture announced in 2020,” said Yoichi (Joe) Tomota, President of Sharp Europe. Since then, a lot has happened in the background to align systems, standardize supply chains and optimize logistics. “The path forward is clear to further increase efficiency and create even more added value for our customers.”

Integration into the Sharp brand

The next phase of Sharp/NEC’s development will now be led by Christof Böhm, who brings his outstanding expertise in engineering as well as quality and service management to his new role: “Quality is non-negotiable. We will not compromise on the longevity of our products, while our excellent, industry-leading service operations continue to provide our customers with peace of mind – even as we make further business transitions to the Sharp brand. Our company has experienced change before, and our customers have experienced continuity in the areas they value: quality, service and sustainability. We will continue this commitment in the future,” explains Christof Böhm.

As the joint venture continues the business transition, the company will be fully merged into Sharp Corporation. The speed of transition to the Sharp brand will vary depending on the product category.

In 2024, Sharp/NEC will launch new products under the Sharp brand. The first significant joint development will be launched at ISE 2024 with the second generation of large-format Multisync ME series displays under the Sharp brand.

Bernd Eberhardt is stepping down after 30 years at Sharp/NEC (Photo: Sharp)
Bernd Eberhardt is stepping down after 30 years at Sharp/NEC (Photo: Sharp)

A NEC veteran is stepping down | Comment by Florian Rotberg

Bernd Eberhardt shaped the fortunes of NEC and Sharp/NEC for more than 30 years. Over two decades in leading roles. With him, a European headed the EMEA and at times also the North American NEC business – extremely unusual for a Japanese company. NEC’s long-standing success is also based on the excellent relationships and the great trust that Bernd Eberhardt enjoyed in the Japanese head office.

Europe has always had a major influence on product development; a reason why Sharp/NEC was able to stand up to the overwhelming Korean competition. With the establishment of the global customer and service program NEC One – developed by Bernd Eberhardt and his designated successor Christof Böhm – NEC was the first visual solutions manufacturer to be able to provide consistent support to customers worldwide. To this day, NEC One is still considered the gold standard in the digital signage and ProAV industry.

NEC as a manufacturer of exclusively professional visual solutions discovered the relevance of sustainability early on. Repair and upgrade instead of buying new and metal instead of plastic are what NEC stands out to this day. Even though NEC is also using more plastic since the takeover by Sharp (Foxconn), they are still leading the way when it comes to green signage.

On a personal note, Bernd Eberhardt’s and my paths crossed regularly on many trips, and we were often on the same plane from Munich to the wide world of digital signage. I have always enjoyed the in-depth conversations – about the industry, but also about the economy and politics in general. An industry pioneer and veteran is leaving the stage – after 30 years, well-deserved, but the industry will still miss him. Personally, I definitely do.