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Industry Veteran John McDonald Dies

12/08/2008 10:02:00 AM Eastern

Arlington, Va. — John McDonald, Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame inductee and chairman of the Consumer Electronics Group, which later became the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), died Thursday after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.

“John was a strong leader. He was caring, honest, funny and smart. He taught me about selling and the importance of relationships. I can still hear him saying, ‘ABC’ — Always Be Closing,” said Gary Shapiro, president /CEO of CEA.

McDonald entered the consumer electronics industry in the 1970s following a career in the U.S. Army. He began working for Sperry Rand and, according to CEA, was responsible for introducing Sperry-branded Casio calculators to the European market. In 1975, he became president of Casio Europe and managing director of Casio Electronics in the U.K. In 1978, he became president of Casio Electronics U.S.

McDonald was elected to chair the Consumer Electronics Group in 1986. He is said to have served CEA in numerous volunteer posts including chairman of the Investment Committee; he was a long-term member of the CEA Executive Board. He retired after 25 years with Casio in 1999.

“John McDonald was dedicated to his company, his employees and to our industry,” said Jack Wayman, former CEA president and founder of the International CES. “He gave of himself to our industry as a leader, a volunteer for CEA and a tireless proponent of the International CES. We will all miss John very much.”

A family memorial has been planned. Mourners are encouraged to make contributions to the National Parkinson Foundation at www.Parkinson.org in John McDonald’s memory.