By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
MyerEmco CEO Jon Myer has assumed the duties and title of president Gary Yacoubian, who formally left the company.
Yacoubian had been with the Washington-area A/V chain for the past 21 years, but found his role diminished as Myer became more involved in day-to-day operations.
Myer had previously focused on the company's strategic direction and marketing and custom-installation functions, he said, but took a more active role last summer as the economy began to sour.
“I jumped in with both feet,” he told TWICE. “I want my hands on the controls.”
Myer lauded Yacoubian for his contributions to the nine-store chain, but said the company couldn't accommodate two presidents.
“I have the highest regard for Gary Yacoubian and the contribution he has made to MyerEmco these past 21 years,” he said in a statement. “Though we will miss Gary, I am excited and energized to move forward as president and CEO, a role that allows me to fully engage with the company in both a strategic and tactical sense.”
Yacoubian, who became the first retailer chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) in January, will retain the volunteer post for the immediate future. But CEA bylaws require directors work for member companies, and whether Yacoubian will continue to head the trade group's board “depends on Gary's plans,” said Jason Oxman, CEA's industry affairs senior VP. “He's still our chairman, and we appreciate his long service.” CEA's next regular board elections are slated for October.
Yacoubian said he has no regrets about leaving MyerEmco. “It's been an awesome ride,” he told TWICE.
Yacoubian joined the specialty A/V dealer 21 years ago as a sales associate to help pay his way through graduate school. A self-professed musicphile, he ultimately remained with the chain after earning his MBA, and was successively promoted to store manager, sales VP and, in 2005, president.
“CE is in my blood,” said Yacoubian, who plans to stay within the industry. He will remain at MyerEmco headquarters during the transitional period, and can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I leave MyerEmco AudioVideo with profoundly mixed emotions,” he said in a statement. “Working with Jon and the MyerEmco team has been the greatest professional experience of my life thus far. Although eager to inaugurate the next phase of my life, I feel great pride and satisfaction in what we accomplished … these past 21 years.”
Myer said one of his first orders of business is to get back up to speed on product knowledge. Going forward, he is planning a “course correction” for the business, and intends to announce the strategic changes at International CES in January. “There are some areas we need to strengthen,” he said.
While Myer was mum on details, the plans won't include additional stores. “We may move one or two, but we have nine locations now and that covers the D.C. market pretty well.”
Myer added that his Washington trading area has held up better than other markets around the country, and that while the local housing industry “has taken a hit, it's not horrible.”
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.