SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Kevin Benedict, Gilad Parann-Nissany

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Plantronics Named 2013 Winner of Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence

Plantronics (NYSE: PLT), a global pioneer in audio communications and wearable technology, today was presented with the 2013 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a ceremony at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes the company’s achievement in advancing best practices in employment, environmental stewardship, support of host-country technology and corporate citizenship at Plantronics’ operations in Tijuana, Mexico.

In selecting Plantronics as an ACE winner, an interagency committee chaired by the State Department noted the company’s sophisticated 120-employee design center, partnerships with local colleges and trade schools to provide work-school collaboration assistance and health care initiatives. Approximately 2,200 of Plantronics’ 3,500 global employees work in Mexico.

U.S. Secretaries of State have awarded the ACE since 1999 to recognize American companies that are leaders in socially responsible activities and contribute to the overall growth and development of the local economy in which they work.

"The State Department mission is to create a more secure, democratic and prosperous world. We can only do what we do with the cooperation of the private sector. Through innovative business models and investment in local communities around the world, countless US businesses are markedly improving the ability of our nation to advance our economic leadership,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry in his remarks at the ACE event today. "The premium that Plantronics places on environmental stewardship alone probably would be enough to earn them the award. But it’s what they do with their employees that really sets them apart. Plantronics does not just value their employees; they invest in them in every way -- in their health, success and their happiness."

“Plantronics recognizes that our ability to consistently provide innovative products and excellent customer service is only as good as our people,” said Ken Kannappan, Plantronics president and CEO, in accepting the award. “Our focus on our people, giving back to our communities and being responsible stewards of the environment are central to our identity, our culture and our position as a leader in audio communications. This in turn allows us to create the remarkable performance our customers depend on. We do this in Santa Cruz, where we are headquartered, as well as every location in which we do business. We are very proud of our team at Plamex, our facility in Tijuana.”

Joining the ceremony via simulcast from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Alejandro Bustamante, Plantronics senior vice president of Worldwide Operations, said, “Our team in Mexico has done extraordinary work in finding the right balance in meeting our stakeholders’ and customers’ requirements while creating programs that promote and improve the quality of life of our associates. Engaging and exciting our employees means that they in turn generate the productivity and efficiencies our stockholders expect, building systems and processes that deliver quality products and services that delight our customers and creating programs that generate value to our community.”

For the past three years, Plantronics Mexico has been ranked #1 as a “Great Place to Work” in Mexico by the Great Place to Work Institute. Here is a sampling of the programs Plantronics in Mexico has initiated to support employees, the community and the environment:

  • Educational support programs have helped Plantronics Mexico employees attain more than 2,300 degrees.
  • A 120-employee design center for new products, several of which have won innovation awards at CES.
  • Development programs have, the past 5 years, enabled more than 1,000 employees to grow into new roles in the company rather than having to leave Plantronics to find professional growth opportunities.
  • A new 800,000 square foot facility that generates 70 percent of its own power with the largest private solar installation in Latin America. The state-of-the-art building has 35-foot-high ceilings, natural lighting, health services and sports facilities.
  • A 13-week anti-drug, alcohol and smoking programs are offered in conjunction with the Tijuana Police Department; so far these programs have educated more than 450 children of employees.
  • Community volunteerism is highly encouraged. Every year Plantronics Mexico employees sponsor a local orphanage, visiting children frequently, helping with their education and organizing group activities. More than 1,600 kids have benefited from this program.
  • Twice a year employees and their families volunteer to participate in cleaning the Tijuana beaches; over the years more than 1,500 associates have participated in this program.

About Plantronics

Plantronics is a global leader in audio communications for businesses and consumers. We have pioneered new trends in audio technology for 50 years, creating innovative products that allow people to simply communicate. From unified communication solutions to Bluetooth® headsets, we deliver uncompromising quality, an ideal experience, and extraordinary service. Plantronics is used by every company in the Fortune 100™, as well as 911 dispatch, air traffic control and the New York Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit www.plantronics.com or call (800) 544-4660.

Plantronics and Simply Smarter Communications are trademarks or registered trademarks of Plantronics, Inc.

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