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2016 Newsmakers of the Year: Earning His New Pay Grade

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.

See the rest of the 2016 Newsmakers of the Year.