2016 Newsmakers of the Year: Earning His New Pay Grade12/19/2016 08:00:00 AM Eastern
hhgregg’s Robert Riesbeck may have taken on more than he bargained for when assumed the top slot at hhgregg. The Indianapolis- based CE, appliance and home furnishing chain reached its apogee under late former chairman, CEO and founding family scion Jerry Throgmartin, who boldly took the company public and embarked on a cross-country buildout.
But the steamroller stalled under his successor Dennis May, as the Great Recession and stretched infrastructure began taking a toll on sales and profits. Enter Riesbeck, who joined two years ago as chief financial officer and officially succeeded May last August.
He cut costs, streamlined back-room functions, changed up management, emphasized furniture over CE and continued building out his luxury majap business.
But turning around a battleship takes time, and nervous vendors are impatient. Whether Admiral Riesbeck will ultimately steer hhgregg toward calmer seas remains to be seen.