Yamaha Names Sumner President

Tom Sumner has been named president of Yamaha Corporation of America, effective April 1. This is the first time that the Japan-based manufacturer has named an American executive to the top position in the United States.

Sumner succeeds Hitoshi Fukutome, who will return to Yamaha Corporation headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan, as senior general manager of Asia-Pacific sales.

Fukutome has served as president of YCA since March 2013. Under his leadership, YCA has enjoyed significant growth in sales, operating income and brand awareness, according to company representatives.

"It has been my deep privilege and honor to lead YCA for the past five years, and I am extremely grateful to our exceptional team for their support and dedication," Fukutome said. "I am particularly proud of our company's business performance during my tenure, and I know that Tom will bring continued success to YCA."

In his new role, Sumner will lead Yamaha operations in the United States and oversee the Americas. He is a 30-year veteran of YCA and has most recently served as senior vice president of the company since June 2008.

For nearly 10 years, he has led or co-led sales and marketing, including the in-house creative agency, corporate marketing, artist relations and end-user support. The keyboard division, AV division, professional audio division and car parts division also reported to him.

"I am so humbled by the opportunity to lead the talented YCA team here in the United States," Sumner said. "Hitoshi has set a high standard of excellence, and I look forward to building upon his success and strengthening our team and our brand, our dealer base and our focus on, and dedication to, our customers."

Sumner started his career as a consumer electronics buyer for Macy's California and joined Yamaha in 1988 as national account manager for the consumer products division. He was named national sales manager for multimedia products in 1995 and promoted to general manager of the consumer products division in 2000.

Sumner was promoted to general manager of the company's pro audio and combo division in 2002 and vice president/general manager in 2004. He served as president of Yamaha Electronics Corporation from 2007 to 2012 and was named senior vice president of the customer sales and marketing group in 2008.

In July 2017, NAMM named Sumner to its board of directors, where he serves on the executive committee as secretary. He is also a member of the Audio Board of the Consumer Technology Association.