Nationwide management shifts
January 21, 2014,
Winston-Salem, N.C. - Nationwide Marketing Group promoted Les Kirk, formerly chief operating officer, to co-CEO, sharing the top post with longtime president and CEO Robert Weisner.
In addition, North America's largest furniture, electronics and appliances buying group named Dave Bilas, former executive vice president, to president and chief operating officer. Jeff Knock, former senior vice president of appliances, is now executive vice president.
The changes were effective Jan. 1, and a new leader for the appliances division will be announced early this year, the group said.
"Les has played a pivotal role in the success of our company during his 25-plus years here," Weisner said in a release. "I am very excited to move forward in this partnership with him."
Kirk said that Bilas' "leadership qualities, fundamental understanding of the business and his intimate relationships with retailers across the country will be key in his new role here at Nationwide."
Bilas has been with Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Nationwide for three years.
Knock, who took the executive vice president post and has been with the group just short of three years in the top appliances division post, "has developed foundational relationships with our vendor partners and has a strong background in the merchandising business, as well as the implementation of marketing strategies for our retailers," Bilas said.
"From the integration of ‘Draw-Escape-Sell' (a merchandising and sales strategy) and Nationwide's tablet initiative to being instrumental in the acquisition of several of our larger members, we are excited that Jeff will be overseeing the group's merchandising and marketing initiatives."
Nationwide Marketing Group has more than 3,500 members with more than 10,000 store and combined annual sales of $14 billion.