San Francisco – Good Guys founder Ron Unkefer has stepped down for the second time as chairman of the West Coast CE chain.
Unkefer – who first left the company in 1995 only to resume control in 1999 – was succeeded last week by Good Guys veteran Ken Weller. Weller, who returned to Good Guys in 2000 as president following a seven-year stint as senior VP/sales at Best Buy, assumed Unkefer’s CEO title in December.
Unkefer said he was retiring from both the chairmanship and the board now that he completed the management restructuring he undertook upon returning 30 months ago. He said he plans to spend more time with his family in Dallas and to focus on his other business interests there. He remains Good Guys’ largest individual shareholder.
Unkefer founded the high-end specialty chain in 1973 with a $5,000 loan from a friend, and built it into a $890 million business by the time he left in 1995. He returned four years later, succeeding Robert Gunst, after the company began sustaining steep losses. ‘On an emotional level, I didn’t want to see a company that I built from scratch, and that has $1 billion in sales, whither away,’ he told TWICE upon his return.
Unkefer gambled $4.7 million of his own money – giving him a 10 percent stake in Good Guys – that he could return the chain to profitability. So far, despite a dramatic restructuring that included layoffs and a return to the company’s high-end roots, the goal has remained elusive.