Westlake Village, CA (March 20, 2013) – Guitar Center today announced that Mike Pratt has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors effective April 1, 2013. Pratt succeeds Marty Hanaka, the Company’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, who will remain on the Board and assist in the transition.
Since 2008, Pratt has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of leading Canadian consumer electronics retailers Best Buy Canada and Future Shop. He began his career more than 20 years ago with Future Shop, which was acquired by Best Buy Canada in 2001. During Pratt’s tenure, Best Buy Canada grew from 165 to 275 stores and greatly expanded its e-commerce activities and web presence.
“There’s no question that Guitar Center is North America’s leader in musical instruments and related products, and there’s a long legacy of success that I greatly admire,” said Pratt. “Over the last few months, I’ve had the chance to look at the company even more closely, and I came away very impressed with its dynamic, multi-format business model with strong in-store and web-based brands. I’m excited about this opportunity and looking forward to working with Guitar Center’s management team and dedicated associates to build the business at retail and online.”
Pratt will be working closely with other members of Guitar Center’s management team, including: John Bagan, Executive Vice President & General Merchandising Manager; Michael Doyle, Senior Vice President, Guitar Merchandise; Dennis Haffeman, Executive Vice President of Human Resources; Frank Hamlin, Executive Vice President/General Manager of E-Commerce & Marketing; Gene Joly, Executive Vice President of Stores; Tim Martin, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Michael Walter, Senior Vice President, Drums, B&O and Accessories; and Bill Wrightson, Senior Vice President, Technology Merchandise & Proprietary Product Management.
“2012 was a strong year for Guitar Center, and we continue to remain on track with the goals outlined in our strategic business plan,” stated Gene Joly. “We have big goals for 2013 – continuing to open new stores and carry out our already-successful business plan. With the appointment of Mike Pratt as CEO, who has a proven track record in retail, Guitar Center will continue to grow and expand over the coming years. He is a vital addition to our team and we look forward to working with him.”