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Ten Execs Named To CE Hall

La Quinta, Calif. – With a decided emphasis towards the marketing executives of the 1950s to 1980s, CEA announced the ten new members of its Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame during an executive luncheon at the CEA Fall Conference, here.

Gary Shapiro, CEA president & CEO, said that these industry leaders were named to the hall because ‘these pioneers had significant advances possible in our industry and many products and technologies emerged because of their work.

The 2002 inductees in their respective Hall of Fame categories are:

  • Ernst Alexanderson – 1878-1975 (Inventor/Engineer/Founder) A pioneer of radio and television, in his 46 years with GE he received 322 patents.
  • Bernard Appel – 1932 (Retailers/Associations) Fondly called ‘Mr. Radio Shack’ by employees and vendors, he spent 32 years with the chain in a variety of positions, becoming president in 1984.
  • Dr. W.R.G. Baker – 1892-1960 (Inventor/Engineer/Founder) As president of the Electronic Industries Association’s engineering department for 26 years, Baker designed EIA’s engineering standards setting.
  • William Boss – 1922 (Sales/Marketing) A leading RCA executive, Boss was chairman and VP of the Consumer Electronics Group’s board (CEG), served as a member on both the EIA and CEG board for 20 years and was the chairman of EIA.
  • Richard Ekstract – 1931 (Media) Eckstract started more than a dozen business publications during a 40 year period, including TWICE, Consumer Electronics Monthly, Video Review and Video Business.
  • Walter Fisher – 1919-1994 (Sales/Marketing) Fisher was president of Zenith Radio Sales Group and was chairman of EIA/CEG. He fostered the formation of the International CES and CEG autonomy within EIA.
  • Ray Gates – 1920 (Sales/Marketing) No relation to Microsoft’s Bill, Gates was the first Panasonic employee in the U.S. as well as the first American president of the Panasonic Company. During his tenure Panasonic grew dramatically in the U.S.
  • William Powell Lear – 1902-1978 (Inventor/Engineer/Founder) Lear collaborated with friend Elmer Wavering to build the first practical car radio and later invented and marketed the automotive 8-track tape format.
  • Sol Polk – 1917-1988(Retailers/Associations) A consumer electronics retailer with multiple outlets in Chicago, his prototype chain was emulated by other retailers and present day chains.
  • Jack Sauter – 1924 (Sales/Marketing) Sauter, a leading marketing executive with RCA Consumer Electronics, he generated demand for color TV in the 1950s and popularized the VCR in the late 1970s and early 1980s.