What is your new position, and what does it entail?
As of Jan. 14, I am now the president of Group One Ltd., the U.S. distributor for DiGiCo, Calrec, KLANG:technologies, Avolites and several other pro audio and lighting brands. I have two main areas of responsibility. First and foremost is to work with Jack Kelly and manage the day-to-day business of Group One. This business has been growing dramatically over the last few years, both organically and through acquisition. To continually be that successful requires a constant balance between a hard-charging entrepreneurial drive and a structured operational foundation focused on cost management and capital. Jack and I have very complementary skill sets that will allow us to optimize our strengths and continue the aggressive growth. The second area revolves around strategy. As any business grows, the importance of a well-defined strategy becomes critical. My role will focus not only on executing the current strategies, but developing new ones to expand the company’s reach and impact.
How has your background prepared you for your new role?
When you join an elite management team like the one at Audiotonix, you need to be able to create and execute strategies that meet the short-term needs of the divisions while simultaneously supporting the long-term strategy of the larger company. In my most recent position at Harman, I did exactly that: managing Harman Professional’s largest P&L while driving decisions that supported the entire company’s global business objectives. As companies grow, it can be a challenge to maintain the unique culture that created the growth while implementing the structure needed to support it. Having worked for both Guitar Center and Harman during times of increased growth and heavy acquisition, my experience lends itself well to contributing to this team as we chart a course for the future.
Related: View from the Top: Jack Kelly, Group One Ltd., by Clive Young, March 29, 2018
What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?
While I’m still too new to the organization to comment on any specific tactics, from the outside, it appears that there are definitely opportunities that can be capitalized on. Particular areas of focus will be around retail positioning, as well as installation and touring market development. Fortunately, the team has been doing an amazing job, so there is no “major overhaul” or restructuring required. The intention is to leverage my experience to be able to tweak and improve the already existing strategies.
Related: 60 Seconds: Matt Larson, Group One Ltd., April 5, 2017
What are your short- and long-term goals?
When you’re joining a team that’s already executing at this level, the number one short-term goal is always “Don’t $#%# it up.” And I intend to take that to heart. As for the long term, the goal is simply to leverage a strong operational foundation to grow all our partners’ businesses. At the end of the day, it’s all about them. My main goal is to do everything I can to leverage my relationships, knowledge and 20-plus years of experience in this great industry to accomplish that.
What is the greatest challenge you face?
The biggest challenge is continually finding new ways to improve that don’t disrupt the culture that got you to where you are. That goes for me individually as well as for the Audiotonix organization as a whole. We represent some of the best brands in the industry. Nurturing those brands while staying true to their identities can be a difficult task, but it’s one that I’m extremely excited to jump into.
Group One Ltd. • www.g1limited.com