Gordon Shackelford, Vice President of Sales for Krell over the last few troubled years, has left the company at the end of September. The public face of the company during what might be its most troubled times, Shackelford told me he needed a break after a period of great stress in his career, but he wishes Krell all the best and believes it is in the midst of a significant turnaround.
Kingswood Capital Management, LLC, a private equity company that describes itself as “an operationally-focused lower-middle market” PE company – and the current owner of AVAD – announced today that it has purchased Houston, TX-based custom integration distributor WAVE Electronics, Inc. and plans to merge it with AVAD to create one total entity. Their announcement says that with this move they “will create the single largest value-added distributor of high-end audio, video, security, and home automation solutions in the consumer electronics industry.”
Many thought they already were the largest distributor.
Gibson Brands’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings have continued to incessantly march forward, the gritty work of a large scale matter such as this occurring mostly in the background. However, occasionally a major factor emerges to be picked up by the media. One thing the new owners of Gibson made a fundamental part of this initiative, was to change the organization’s leadership.
This week, we learned that the company will soon emerge from bankruptcy with a new chief financial officer (CFO) – announcing the appointment of Kimberly Mattoon for the role.
A Significant New Revenue & Profit Opportunity for Integrators
As I mentioned in my CEDIA wrap-up post recently, Savant surprised me with an entirely new category they call microgrid. Created in partnership with sister company Racepoint Energy, a microgrid is sort of your own energy substation for your residential (or commercial) clients – giving them much greater control over their energy systems.
And microgrid brings integrators a new significant revenue and profit opportunity addressing a category well beyond traditional “power protection.”
Onkyo Corporation, parent of the Onkyo, Integra, and Pioneer AV brands, is expanding its OEM business unit to help build its business and offset losses it has experienced over the last five years, according to a report by the Nikkei in Japan. Investors are said to be skeptical of the move, but the company is targeting the automotive segment in India where they expect to see significant growth.
Vanco has always seemed to be that reliable supplier in the background providing a steady stream of solutions like cables, connectors, and other accessories – not particularly glitzy or exciting, but steady and there. Well all that is about to change I learned when I spoke with Mark Corbin, Vanco’s recently appointed President at CEDIA Expo18 earlier this month. The company has begun a big initiative to become a major player in a category near and dear to my heart…audio.
AudioControl, the Seattle, WA-based specialty electronics maker of innovative solutions, announced three new gems at CEDIA Expo 2018 – a new Rialto 400 zone amplifier, the Avalon G3 four-channel amplifier, and a new CM Series 70-volt line of commercial amplifiers. These new products are not only clever solutions to integrators needs, they absolutely personify the concept of flexibility.
Like past years at Expo, CEDIA presented a summary of their findings from the recently completed Size and Scope survey at Expo 2018. This year, however, the presentation was made by Grant Farnsworth of The Farnsworth Group, an Indianapolis-based market statistics consultant who did an excellent job in conveying a lot of detailed and important data to show attendees.
At CEDIA Expo 2018, I had the opportunity to meet with Krell Industries executives Walter Schofield and Gordon Shackelford to learn more about the steps the company is taking to address market concerns in the wake of a lot of nasty rumors about Krell’s viability. Step one of the new direction for Krell involved the hiring of Walter Scofield as its new Chief Operating Officer as Strata-gee recently reported just a few weeks ago. In this meeting, I was to learn of more steps coming.
First stop on the press express at CEDIA Expo 2018 was LG – a company that offers what I have often said is my favorite core video technology, OLED. As in past years, LG did not disappoint. But their message at Expo this year was prominent and hard hitting – LG is all about custom installation.