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Ultimate Electronics Names Pearse President

Thornton, Colo. — Jim Pearse has been promoted to president of Ultimate Electronics, effective immediately.

Pearse succeeds Bruce Giesbrecht, who retains his CEO title. Mark Wattles, principal of Ultimate Acquisition Partners, which owns and operates the 32-store chain, remains chairman.

Pearse, son of Ultimate founder Bill Pearse, joined the company as a sales associate in 1993. He most recently served as merchandising senior VP.

Pearse’s product duties is David Carlock, who was promoted to merchandising VP.
Separately, senior marketing VP David Smith, who was given additional responsibility for product in December, has left the company.

In a statement, Giesbrecht said that Pearse’s promotion “recognizes Jim’s contribution to Ultimate Electronics’ successful turnaround.” Prior to the company’s acquisition by Wattles Capital Management in April 2005, the chain experienced “years of deteriorating sales performance and declining EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] caused by problems in merchandising, marketing and store operations,” he noted.
Since then, “We have fixed the product assortment, rationalized the pricing and promotional strategies, and rebuilt a sales culture in the stores.”

Consequently, comp-store sales and EBITDA have improved each year since the acquisition, Giesbrecht said. Most recently, comp sales rose 3 percent for the quarter ending Jan. 31, while EBITDA and gross margin both showed “significant improvement” during the period.

“I am proud of our results and want to congratulate Jim and thank the entire Ultimate Electronics team for their outstanding performance,” Giesbrecht said.