Jack Eugster, one of the most powerful U.S. music merchandisers when he headed Musicland, has been named chairman of wholesaler Baker & Taylor, replacing Richard Willis. Eugster had been serving on Baker & Taylor’s board of directors since it was acquired in May 2006 by Castle Harlan, a private equity firm.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based Baker & Taylor generates about $2 billion in business by selling books, video and music. In music, where it has sales of about $175 million, it functions as a one-stop and also is a leading player in internet fulfillment.
Eugster served as chairman of Musicland from 1980 through 2001, when he sold the chain to Best Buy. He then headed up the Shopko discount department store chain from 2001-2005. During his reign at Musicland, the chain was the largest music specialty store account, with 1,200 stores at its peak.
Gary B. Appel noted that Willis, who resigned to spend more time with his family, had led Baker & Taylor “through a tremendous period of growth.”
Baker & Taylor president Arnie Wight will continue to serve as the company’s
most senior day-to-day operating officer.