Bose Corp. founder donates private stock to MIT

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Posted: Apr 30, 2011 1:52 PM
Bose Corp. founder donates private stock to MIT

The founder of audio technology company Bose Corp. is donating most of the privately held firm's stock to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MIT is the alma mater of Amar Bose, who at 81 remains the company's chairman and technical director.

The Cambridge-based school said on Friday that it will receive annual cash dividends on the shares, when they're paid by Bose Corp. The university said it will use the payments "to sustain and advance MIT's education and research mission."

An MIT news release did not specify the number of shares awarded, other than disclosing they represented a majority of the company's stock. The statement also did not estimate the gift's value, or provide financial details.

As a private company, Bose does not disclose its finances, but has reported annual revenue of about $2 billion.

Gift restrictions bar MIT from selling the shares, which don't carry voting rights in the company. MIT is also barred from participating in management and governance of Bose.

Bose "will remain a private and independent company, and operate as it always has, with no change in strategy or leadership," MIT said.

In announcing the gift, MIT President Susan Hockfield said that Amar Bose "has asked us not to shine too bright a spotlight on him today."

The news release said a letter from Amar Bose to the company's employees explained that the gift represents his desire to support MIT. He also reaffirmed the company's focus on long-term research.

"We will continue to remain true to the principles upon which our company was founded," he wrote to his employees.

The company, based in the Boston suburb of Framingham, began in 1964. At the time, Bose was a professor of electrical engineering at MIT, where he also received his bachelor' and master's degrees and Ph.D.

He used a $10,000 bank loan to begin pursuing commercial and military applications for acoustics technologies he developed at the university. The company became known for making radios and noise-canceling headphones.

Bose was asked to join the MIT faculty in 1956, and continued as a faculty member until 2001.