June 15, 2021 I Appointments
Martin Guitars Names New CEO
C.F. Martin & Co. has announced Thomas Ripsam has been appointed as the company’s new chief executive officer. Effective June 14, Ripsam succeeded Chris Martin, longtime chairman and CEO, who assumes the role of executive chairman.
“First, I want to thank everyone in the music products business for their support during my 35-year career as CEO of my family’s business. What a ride!” Martin said. “I complete my term as NAMM chairman this July at the [Summer NAMM] in Nashville, and I have been thinking about retiring for several years, so this felt like the right time.”
Over the course of Ripsam’s 25-plus year career, first at Booz Allen & Hamilton and most recently as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he took on leadership responsibilities for growing business, developing service offerings and managing teams. He has worked with consumer goods companies, specialty retailers, technology solutions providers, Fortune 50 companies, and family-owned businesses, helping to drive profitable growth, enhancing digital capabilities, improving customer experience and engagement and generating hundreds of millions in incremental value for his clients — according to a statement from Martin.
A guitar player, Ripsam collects fretted instruments and even took a sabbatical in 2019 to work with a luthier to learn about the process of building acoustic guitars. He holds an MBA in strategy and finance from Columbia Business School and a BA in business administration and management from Reutlingen University in Germany and Middlesex University in London.
“I have admired Martin since I was a teenager,” Ripsam said. “My first real acoustic was a Martin guitar, and it has been a close companion to me since. Martin has always been an iconic fretted instrument builder, and I have a deep appreciation for the company’s continued focus on quality, craftsmanship, and innovation, as well as its unique culture and history. I am honored and humbled to join the Martin family and to carry on the legacy of Chris Martin and his predecessors.”