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ReSound President Mikkel Knudsen Draws Inspiration from Family and Changing Lives with Better Hearing

Newly minted U.S. Citizen Mikkel Knudsen reflects on his journey from Denmark to ReSound North America
Mikkel Knudsen Family Photo

Mikkel Knudsen with his family.

You might think that Mikkel Knudsen would be a Minnesota Vikings fan.  After all, he lives in Minnesota and he must have some Viking blood since he was born in Denmark. But no, he is in fact a devoted and passionate fan of the Green Bay Packers.

Of course, the president of ReSound North America has much more on his mind than football. ReSound is the flagship brand of GN Hearing, a division of the GN Group, a Danish company with over 5,500 employees that sells hearing aids in over 100 countries. It’s one of the so-called “Big Five” hearing aid companies.

Knudsen is a newly minted American who oversees ReSound’s North American operations and a portfolio of brands including the brand-new ReSound Nexia, as well as Omnia, Key, LiNX Quattro, and Enzo Q hearing aids.

He spoke to HearingTracker from his office in Bloomington, Minn.

Can you tell us about your personal journey?

Knudsen: I grew up in Denmark and spent almost half my life there. I moved to the U.S. after I finished school in 2000 and then started work in the hearing aid industry. In 2020, I finally took the big jump and I became an American citizen. So now I have my blue passport and I'm extremely proud of that.

Really, my entire working life has been in the U.S. and in this industry that I’m so passionate about.  My first real job out of school was in the hearing aid industry. And for the past 23 years, I’ve had the opportunity here at ReSound to support independent hearing care professionals while working in a variety of roles and levels—from marketing coordinator to business development to sales and now president.

I’d like to think this journey has given me unique perspectives and insights from different people throughout the company, and different ways to closely engage with and support hearing care professionals, which I really cherish.

Speaking of passion, I notice you have a Green Bay Packers helmet on the shelf behind you.

Knudsen: Yes, I do. Growing up in Denmark, soccer was what I was raised on and I didn't know much about American football. When I moved here, a good friend of mine introduced me to football, and he happened to be a Packers fan. So those were the games I watched, and the first real game I attended live in a stadium was actually at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. It's a truly iconic place to watch a game. Once I had that experience, I was hooked.

My three sons are Packer fans as well. And I've been taking them to Lambeau to make sure they get that same experience.

You have a very demanding job. How do you balance that with your family life?

Knudsen: Life-work balance is just incredibly important and striking the right balance, I think, is more difficult than ever now that we have work-from-home flexibility. It is easier to do when you're working at the office than it is when working from home.

I think it’s harder now to make that transition from work to just being a dad or a mom or a spouse, because your laptop is sitting at the kitchen counter and you're working on emails or there are video conferences. Then your wife comes home or your kids come home and now you are in a different role. But you don't get time to transition—and that laptop is often still sitting at that kitchen counter.

Mikkel Knudsen Biking

Mikkel with his wife on a bike ride.

Now more than ever, it’s important to make a clear distinction between work and home time. For example, don’t work on weekends, put the phone down and if you don't have the discipline, leave your phone in your car so that you’re not always dealing with emails.

What do you like to do with your free time?

Knudsen: I travel a lot for work, and with kids growing fast, you have to cherish those moments we are together.

I love home improvement projects and I do those with my kids. We’ve built a pergola together and we've built a tool shed. Seeing their confidence grow in their carpentry skills is very gratifying.

Oh, and I love fishing.

Mikkel Knudsen Tool Shed

Mikkel and his kids joined forces to build this toolshed together.

As you know, hearing aids can be life-changing devices. Can you share any stories that have touched you?

Knudsen: I look at my father-in-law and I see how wearing our products has changed him. It drew him back into conversations. It enabled him to enjoy conversations with his grandkids again. Just seeing that change obviously was very impactful for me because I think one of the worst things about hearing loss is that you can withdraw into yourself. When you withdraw you become isolated. Seeing him re-engaging with everybody was heartwarming.

I also have a story about a little boy who had hearing loss that was diagnosed late, and everybody around him had gotten used to speaking really loudly to him. Then one day he finally got hearing aids. On his way home from the audiologist he was sitting in the back seat of the car with his big brother. Now, his big brother was used to speaking to him in a loud voice and so he continued to speak loudly.  Then his little brother interrupted him and said, “You don’t have to speak loudly to me anymore. I can hear now.”

Mikkel Knudsen With Resound Patient

ReSound periodically hosts “patient celebrations” where a patient is invited to the company's Bloomington headquarters to meet and share their story with the people who make the hearing aids.

Stories like that just make me emotional. They show us just how impactful what we do is, and I think sometimes we lose sight of that. It's important to me to make sure that the people working in our organization hear those stories and meet the patients. I want to make sure that we all understand that, yes, this is a job, but man, what an impactful and meaningful job it is.

For me, it’s also a personal mission to support the independent hearing care professionals that I’ve worked so closely with for the past 23 years, helping them help their patients lead fuller lives with better hearing.

Digby Cook


Digby Cook is a veteran journalist with a wide range of experience in television news, documentaries and newspapers. His interest in the science of hearing is both professional and personal.