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TWICE Salutes Industry’s Movers, Shakers

For the last issue of this year TWICE decided to do something a little radical, at least for us, by naming our first annual “TWICE Newsmaker of the Year.”

In selecting our “Newsmaker of the Year” we kept the criteria relatively simple: who made the biggest impact on the industry in the past 12 months, in terms of innovation, not only for their companies but the industry as well.

That honor goes to a relative newcomer in what we like to call the electronics/appliance industry, Best Buy’s CEO Hubert Joly. A turnaround expert with a lack of retail experience on his impressive resume, Joly has seemingly done the impossible – turn around an electronics/appliance giant whose prospects were beginning to get pretty dim just two years ago.

Joly came on board when upper management of the chain was in disarray, costs were rising, sales were dropping, and everyone outside – and many inside – were predicting gloom and doom.

While an entire turnaround of Best Buy has not been completely accomplished yet, Joly so far has taken the strengths of the brand and its ability to present technology to a wide audience and instilled confidence in consumers that they will still get a “best buy” at the chain. Suppliers such as Samsung and Microsoft, with new in-store departments, and others have regained confidence in this unique retail powerhouse.

We also decided to profile the four other finalists who were up for consideration as this year’s “TWICE Newsmaker of the Year,” all worthy of recognition.

Kazuo Hirai of Sony has been in 2013 making “Sony be Sony again,” as one retailer told TWICE, by introducing such products as 4K TV, PlayStation4 and the Xperia Z1 smartphone while trying to turn a profit, which is still an elusive goal.

Jeff Bezos of could have been named a “Newsmaker” for any publication – including the Washington Post which he bought this year. But in CE, Amazon’s continued sales growth threatening Best Buy and Walmart is just one reason why he should be included.

Charlie Ergen of Dish Network is never one to sit idly by, especially when he sees opportunities for his company to become a one-stop shop for the delivery of video content via satellite and the Internet to the home and on the road. While his moves to buy Sprint and LightSquared didn’t work in 2013, rest assured that Ergen will continue to pursue his goal.

Jack Truong of Electrolux during the past year has been able to increase sales and earnings for the major appliance supplier in the U.S., not only by adding Home Depot but by serving the needs of independent retailers too.

TWICE congratulates Hubert Joly for being name our first “Newsmaker of the Year,” as well as finalists Karuo Hirai, Jeff Bezos, Charlie Ergen and Jack Truong for their achievements this year.

And, since this is TWICE’s last print issue of 2013, we want to wish all of our readers and advertisers a happy, healthy – and profitable – holiday season and 2014! We will see you during January in Las Vegas for International CES.