Winston-Salem, N.C. - Nationwide Marketing Group (NMG) has hired former GE Appliances sales VP Dave Bilas as executive VP.
Bilas, widely popular within the independent dealer channel, was succeeded last month by Michael McDermott in a surprise move at GE.
Bilas' appointment fortifies the management ranks of the $12 billion buying group, whose president and co-founder, Ed Kelly, retired in January. Following Kelly's departure, executive VP/director Robert Weisener was named CEO and director Les Kirk became COO.
In his new role, Bilas will be responsible for overseeing Nationwide's appliance and electronics marketing and merchandising divisions, headed by Adam Thomas and Richard Weinberg in appliances and Mike Decker and Doug Schatz in CE. He will fully transition into the new post by midsummer, the group said.
"David brings with him years of executive and management experience in highly respected companies within the retail industry such as GE, Whirlpool and Hitachi," said Weisner. "He has demonstrated considerable strength in areas particularly critical to the independent dealer and understands the challenges they face which will only enhance our ability to service our membership."
Bilas, whose father owned TV sales and service stores in Southern California, said he has "always been a strong advocate of the independent dealer throughout my personal life and professional career. I am very excited to join Nationwide to continue serving this channel and enhancing their position in the market."
Added Kirk: "We have a very committed and highly experienced senior leadership and executive staff at Nationwide from our merchandising and marketing divisions to our field team. David is an excellent addition to our organization and I am certain is the right person to continue strengthening relationships with our vendor partners and providing quality service to our member dealers."