Chris Martin IV to step down as CEO of Martin Guitars
After over three decades of leading his family business, Chris Martin IV has announced his plans to retire as CEO of Martin Guitars in July 2021. He will remain chairman of the board, and family ownership of the Nazareth, Pennsylvania-based company will continue.
Family owned for six generations, Chris Martin IV took the reins of his family business following the death of his grandfather and mentor, CF Martin III in 1986. “I’ve spent over 40 years in my family business and what a ride it’s been,” said Martin in a company statement. “Now I’ve reached the point where it’s time for me to move into the role of Executive Chairman.”
“I am confident in the current leadership team, because I know they love the company as much as I do and I will be working closely with them through this transition.”
Martin had assumed responsibility of the family business at a time especially tough for the six-string market – brought on by the rise of disco, affordable synthesizers and a US economy that was headed for recession.
However, a wise decision of loaning out guitars to a unique, then-new music television program called MTV Unplugged, gave Martin Guitars – and the acoustic six-string – some footing in its bid to recoup its status.
Featuring artists as diverse as Eric Clapton and Kurt Cobain, ‘going unplugged’ inadvertently created a new ‘genre’ that still resonates with modern Martin players today, including John Mayer and Father John Misty.
“It started out slow but, as the momentum built, that show reminded people just how cool acoustic guitars can be,” Martin recalled in an interview with Guitar.com. “I give them a great deal of credit for helping my family’s business get back on its feet.”
Read More: The Industry Interview: Chris Martin IV, CEO of Martin Guitars
Martin’s retirement will also coincide with his stepping down as chairman of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM).
Jacqueline Renner, President of Martin Guitars, has also announced her plans to step down in October 2021. “I am very grateful for the support and leadership that Jackie has shown as President over these past five years.” said Martin.
The company is now on a global search for a new CEO-President that can “embrace and augment [its] unique culture”.
for more industry news, click here.
The post Chris Martin IV to step down as CEO of Martin Guitars appeared first on Guitar.com | All Things Guitar.