Wikipedia explains it this way:
It was founded in 1972 as Mark Levinson Audio Systems (MLAS), by Mark Levinson, and has since its birth focused on solid-state equipment. The company was originally based in New Haven, CT, where Mark Levinson had begun to develop high end audio systems; his father was a professor at Yale University. In the 1980s, the company was taken over by Madrigal and lost several of its employees and innovators (Mark Levinson, Tom Colangelo, etc.). Mark Levinson himself went on to found or co-found other companies (Cello and then Red Rose Music).