Industry icon Sandy Gross is retiring as president of Definitive technology, which he co-founded in 1999. The release from Definitive is below.
Sandy Gross Retires From Definitive Technology
Co-founder and industry icon executes final step in his long-planned exit strategy
Baltimore. MD—March 10, 2009—Today Definitive Technology co-founder and President Sandy Gross announced his retirement from Definitive effective March 31, 2009. Sandy’s retirement has been long-contemplated but kept confidential while he positioned the company and key executives for a smooth transition after his exit.
“Since we sold Definitive to Directed Electronics in 2004 I’ve been contemplating the next phase of my life. For decades I’ve worked 24/7 running my businesses and I saw the time approaching when I would want to slow down, take a break and contemplate my future plans. But I didn’t want to leave before there was a management structure in place that could continue Definitive’s legacy of quality and success” said Mr. Gross.
In 2007 Sandy promoted long-time Definitive executive Dave Peet to Executive Vice President. The same year Sandy tapped Polk Audio veteran Paul DiComo to join Definitive as Vice President of Marketing. Since then Peet and DiComo have been running Definitive’s day to day business while Gross slowly transitioned out of daily management. Upon Gross’s departure DiComo and Peet will assume all of Gross’s remaining responsibilities.
Gross continued, “I have supreme confidence in Dave and Paul’s abilities to take Definitive to new heights. I’ve known and worked closely with both of them for many years and I know they have all the tools necessary to succeed. They share my passion for high quality audio, music and responsible business management.”
Dave Peet has extensive experience in CE retailing with both small and large retailers including 14 years with Illinois specialty A/V retailer United Audio as store manager and Buyer/Merchandiser. While he was buyer United became one of Definitive’s best dealers due to his innovative merchandising and passion for the brand. Peet joined Definitive as VP International Sales in 2001 and rose through the ranks to VP of Sales where he reorganized and expanded Definitive’s sales force for improved customer service and sales. As Executive VP, Peet is responsible for worldwide sales and administration.
Paul DiComo also came up through the specialty A/V retail ranks within Boston area retailers before transitioning to manufacturing with NAD. Paul joined Polk Audio as National Sales Manager in the early ‘80s. In 1995 DiComo moved from sales to Marketing where he improved the quantity and quality of Polk’s PR exposure and helped design several iterations of the company’s websites. Since joining Definitive DiComo has modernized and upgraded Definitive’s graphic assets, marketing materials and built an entirely new and dramatically improved Definitive Technology website.
DEI Holdings CEO Jim Minarik said, “We’re grateful to Sandy for all of his contributions to the company and for doing an excellent job of preparing for the future by assembling such a strong team to lead the company. In Dave and Paul we have among the most capable and experienced management teams in the loudspeaker industry.”
“Sandy brought me into Polk and later into Definitive and I count him as the single biggest influence on my professional development. We’re sad to see him go but at the same time we are thrilled for him” said DiComo. Dave Peet said of Gross “When the history of the audio business is written Sandy’s career will deserve several chapters. Sandy is universally loved and respected by all he came in contact with. He has been an inspiration to many in the industry including Paul and me. We’re determined to carry on Sandy’s vision for Definitive and to make him proud that he chose us as his successors.”
About Sandy Gross
Sandy Gross has the distinction, shared only by industry legend Henry Kloss, of having founded and brought to prominence two leading loudspeaker brands, Polk Audio and Definitive Technology. Along with partners Matthew Polk, George Klopfer and Craig Georgi, Sandy founded Polk Audio in 1972. Sandy’s product development collaboration with Matthew Polk produced a string of iconic loudspeakers including the Polk 10 and the SDA Series of stereo-enhancing loudspeakers. Sandy’s similarly iconic ad campaigns of that era are still fondly remembered by industry veterans. One, featuring a lab coat-clad Matthew Polk, helped launch Polk Audio from a small start-up to an industry leader. Soon after leaving Polk Audio in 1988, Sandy joined with two Canadian partners Don Givogue and Ed Blais to form Definitive Technology in 1990. Sandy’s product and marketing skills built Definitive from a home-based business with one speaker model to arguably the best selling line of high-end home loudspeakers. Sandy’s Definitive accomplishments include the Mythos series the first thin wall mount “designed for plasma” speakers, the development and popularization of “powered tower” loudspeakers with built-in powered subwoofers and advertising campaigns that drove consumers into retailers like none before.