The long sad saga of Thiel is just about over for good. Having entered bankruptcy in October 2018, an auction house has finally been selected and started the process of liquidating all that remains of the former Nashville, Tenn-based Thiel…including Thiel Loudspeakers, Aurora by Thiel wireless music systems, and detritus from the Aurora Studio live streaming music studio.
Strata-gee *EXCLUSIVE* Interview with Tom Thiel
Although Strata-gee has loosely followed Thiel Audio for many years, since 2012, when the company was sold by co-founder Kathy Gornik to a group of Tennessee private equity investors, our coverage intensified. Part of the motivation for devoting more coverage to this stage of Thiel, was a growing interest in the apparent deteriorating state of specialty A/V – but it was also fueled by a wacky, reality-show like, “You’re Fired!” atmosphere as principal owner David B. Griffin routinely dismissed newly constituted management teams. With five different CEOs over a five-year period, some with tenures measured in months, the company’s business suffered from inconsistent fits-and-starts as each team pursued a new direction.
This state of constant turmoil at Thiel caused extreme consternation among – first the Thiel dealer base, and when that disappeared – Thiel end-users, many of whom were huge fans of Jim Thiel. A host of audio forums and bulletin boards had ongoing, passionate postings bemoaning the end of an era: the end of the Kathy Gornik era…and of course, the end of the Jim Thiel era.
Kind of like in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, when Obi-wan says: “That boy is our last hope.” Yoda replies: “No, there is another…” [Read more…] about The Forgotten Thiel
After a tumultuous five-year period, which began in 2012 when Thiel was sold to Tennessee private investor David B. Griffin, we can now confirm that Thiel Audio has been closed for good. Failing some kind of 11th hour rescue, another great American audio brand will be relegated to the dustbin of history.
See what we know of the closing of Thiel Audio… [Read more…] about Thiel is Toast, Specialty Audio Takes Another Hit
New CEO Outlines a New Future for the 40-Year Old Brand
You practically need a scorecard to keep track of the revolving group of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) that have come and gone from Nashville-based Thiel Audio. The specialty speaker company has had five CEOs in four years – leading to an unending series of disjointed actions from a disconnected group of high-powered executives, each with their own vision of where to take the company.
Now it is new Thiel CEO Elyse McKenna’s turn…and she has a plan… [Read more…] about Thiel Audio’s New CEO, Elyse McKenna, Talks to Strata-Gee
Our inquiry started innocently enough. Last week, we received an emailed press release that contained this headline: “VANA Ltd. Appoints Stephen DeFuria as Director of Sales, East.” Now we generally receive dozens of press releases every day – but this one caught our immediate attention…literally causing us to pick the phone to make a call for confirmation. Why? Because Stephen DeFuria was part of a team hired by Thiel Audio to help turn that business around – and now, only one year later, he is out…with no explanation. But that was just the beginning.
Now, there’s reason to question whether the “other shoe” may be dropping at Thiel… [Read more…] about Thiel Audio: DeFuria & Brown are Out; Is the Other Shoe Dropping?
Much has been written on the changes at Lexington, KY-based Thiel Audio Products Company (Thiel) in the wake of its purchase by a group of Tennessee investors that we first reported last November. Shortly after their acquisition, strata-gee.com was invited to speak with Bill Thomas – one of those Tennessee investors and now the new CEO of Thiel Audio. And a couple of months after that, we had the opportunity to speak with new Thiel interim COO and Board member Bob Brown.
But many Thiel-related reps and dealers kept asking us about co-founder and former President Kathy Gornik. Some of this curiosity was related to rumors that Gornik had been forcibly removed from the respected high-end loudspeaker company that she helped found. And some of the interest centered around an unanswered question, not covered by any of the press (including Strata-gee.com) as to why Gornik decided to sell the company.
Now, Gornik has granted Strata-gee.com an exclusive interview…to tell her side of the story… [Read more…] about Kathy Gornik: Why I Sold Thiel…
Quadrant Solutions, a supplier of magnets and magnetic assemblies announced today that Kathy Gornik, former co-founder of high-end loudspeaker manufacturer Thiel Audio, has joined the company in a new business development role. Gornik’s appointment is effective immediately.
See more on this announcement, including the status of fellow ex-Thiel employee Dawn Cloyd… [Read more…] about Former Thiel Co-Founder Joins Magnet Supplier
Industry veteran Bob Brown, known to many from his long tenure as President at Lenbrook America, has joined Thiel Audio as a member of their board of directors. Brown will also, effective immediately, begin serving as the company’s interim Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Thiel, as we recently reported, is in the middle of an exciting revival as the result of its recent purchase by a consortium of Tennessee investors led by current CEO Bill Thomas.
See more on this interesting new development for Thiel… [Read more…] about Bob Brown Joins Thiel as Interim COO and Board Member
“It’s really not that fancy,” new Thiel CEO Bill Thomas told us with a chuckle and a noticeable Southern drawl when we asked about his private equity company that was mentioned in a Thiel press release announcing its acquisition last week. [See our post on the acquisition here…] In a telephone interview with strata-GEE.com earlier this week, the 55-year old Thomas said it was simply he and two friends that came together to purchase Thiel Audio Products Company – not some high-powered M&A company.
This was just one of several surprises the CEO shared with us about the acquisition… [Read more…] about New THIEL CEO Tells Us THIEL’s the Real Deal
Strata-gee.com learned from sources early today that Thiel Audio Products was sold last week to a Nashville, TN-based private equity company. Late today, the company distributed a formal press release confirming what we have heard. Kathy Gornik, CEO and President of the company is said to be leaving effective immediately and the release refers to “New Thiel CEO Bill Thomas.” [Read more…] about Thiel Audio Products Acquired by Tennessee Private Equity Company