INDIANAPOLIS — Yamaha veteran Matt Rounds, 55, died suddenly of natural causes during the recent CEDIA Expo.
He joined Yamaha in the mid-1980s as national sales manager for the newly launched car audio business. When Yamaha left the car audio business, he moved to Yamaha's home A/V group, where he served as the western regional sales manager for the past 13 years.
He started in the consumer electronics industry in the early 1970s with Craig Corp. of America in Kansas City, following three years of service as a combat marine in Vietnam. Rounds then went to work with Alpine Electronics as regional sales manager in Kansas City and after several years transferred to California with that company.
Rounds was born in Los Angeles and lived for many years in Mission Viejo, Calif. For the past three years, he lived in San Luis Obispo in northern California. He is survived by his wife of over 30 years, Karn, and his two children.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILL. — Ken Thomson, a long-time consumer electronics executive, died at his home here on Sept. 16, according to a report in the Chicago Daily Herald.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Thomson was on the board of the Electronics Industries Association/Consumer Electronics Group, the forerunner of the CEA. During his career in the CE industry, Thomson was with GTE Sylvania and moved over to Magnavox when the company was purchased by Philips Consumer Electronics during the late 1970s.
As VP/general manager of Magnavox, which was part of Philips, Thomson headed the rollout of audio CD in the United States during the early 1980s. Later, he purchased accessories maker Discwasher from Beatrice Foods, and when the company was bought by Recoton Corp., he assisted in managing the business.
Survivors include his wife Mickey, two sons, a daughter and several grandchildren.
LOS ANGELES — Actor Gordon Jump died less than three months after retiring from his TV and trade show role as Maytag's "Ol' Lonely" repairman. He was 71 and reportedly succumbed to complications from pulmonary fibrosis.
In a statement, Maytag chairman/CEO Ralph Hake said, "It was natural for him to project an image of warmth, caring, dependability, respect and humor, because that's exactly the kind of person he was."
Jump, who first gained national recognition on the TV sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati," inherited the uniform in 1989 from comic actor Jesse White. White created the iconic character of the lonely repairman, who never gets a service call for Maytag products, in 1967. He hung up his cap in 1988 and died in 1997 at age 79.
Hardy Rawls, a veteran of the stage and TV, assumed the role of Ol' Lonely in July.