Music Inc Magazine May 2024

GUITAR CENTER NAMES KRISTIN SHANE EXECUTIVE VP G uitar Center has appointed Kristin Shane as its executive vice president, chief merchandising and marketing officer, effective im- mediately. Reporting directly to CEO Gabe Dalporto, Shane will oversee the integration of the marketing and merchandising functions to enhance the end-to-end customer experience. Shane will be responsible for product, promotions, visual merchandising, omni-channel experience and activations. Kristin Shane “As a visionary leader and a world-class merchant, we are thrilled to welcome Kristin Shane to our executive team,” Dal- porto said. “Kristin’s impressive track record of market and sales growth, coupled with her nearly 20 years of retail expertise in the specialty product market, will be instrumental in activating Guitar Center’s new strategic direction and creating a more customer-centric experience.” Shane transitions to her new role from PetSmart, where she served as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, driving billions in incremental sales and market expansion. She has also served as Target’s vice president merchandise manager for the beauty and personal care business. {} KORG USA APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR OF IT K org USA has announced that after an extensive search, engineering

YORKVILLE SOUND, BLACKSTAR STRIKE DISTRIBUTION DEAL C anadian pro-audio manufacturer and distributor, Yorkville Sound, and amplifier brand, Blackstar Amplification, have announced a new distribution partnership. Effective immedi- ately, Yorkville Sound will distribute Blackstar Amplification products in Canada. “The Canadian market has always been incredibly important to Blackstar and having our products represented nationally, in the best stores is integral to our brand,” said Joel Richardson, Blackstar Amplification’s director of marketing. “Producing world-leading products is just one part of the Blackstar story, having world-class partners to help deliver those products is paramount to realizing our vision. Yorkville Sound is that partner, and we’re looking forward to the team stitching Blackstar into the fabric of the illustrious and dynamic Canadian music scene.” “Yorkville’s distribution catalog is curated with brands that help musicians take their craft to new heights,” said Jeff Cowling, Yorkville’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Blackstar’s constant goal is to provide musicians with innovative ampli- fier designs that inspire their art. We are excited to have this exceptional brand as part of our distribution family.” Blackstar Amplification products are now available through Yorkville Sound. {;}

FENDER’S MIKE LEWIS PASSES AWAY M ike Lewis, vice president of product development at the Fender Custom Shop, passed away on March 6. He was 70. Lewis first joined Fender in the

and technology leader Kevin Han has joined its executive team and will lead its IT division into the future. “Kevin brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will contribute to Korg’s strategic goals

Kevin Han

sales department in 1991, where he engaged with dealers over the phone. Later, he revitalized Fender’s amp line by introducing products, such as the DeVille series and the Vibro-King.

and objectives,” said Diana Cecchini, Korg USA’s CFO. “He will play a pivotal role in driving our company’s continued growth.” Han has more than 20 years of experience in leading large technical teams in highly complex environments. Prior to com- ing to Korg USA, he worked at Google for nine years and IBM for 13 years in various leadership roles. Han holds a BS in computer engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. At Google, Han served as head of contact center infrastructure and automation and senior manager of a $25 million budget leading a global team of network engineers, system develop- ment engineers and technical program managers. “I’m very grateful to everyone [who] helped in the selection process,” Cecchini said. “I’m confident that Kevin’s contribu- tions will help us achieve even greater success.” {}

Mike Lewis

Lewis’ innovations also extended to Fender’s electric guitar depart- ment, where he actively contributed to guitar innovations based on player preferences. Notably, he introduced Fender’s first production Stratocaster with a regular humbucker: the Lone Star Strat. Lewis’ impact reached new heights when Fender collaborated with Gretsch, and he revamped the entire line, restoring speci- fications to the original magic recipe, which resonated instantly with fans. In the Fender Custom Shop, Lewis utilized his design aesthetic and management skills, resulting in the best 10-year run in the shop’s history, according to a statement from Fender. {}

18 I MUSIC INC. I MAY 2024

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