Rick Souder, Crutchfield: Leading with Credibility
Rick Souder, COO and executive vice president of merchandising at Crutchfield, spent his early working years in management positions at The Gap and U.S. Shoe Corporation. While he valued the experience he gained there, he’ll tell you there’s nothing in the apparel business that matches the excitement of selling consumer electronics.
So he followed his passion in 1987, joining Circuit City as a buyer in training and moving up the corporate ladder to vice president and general merchandise manager, a position with responsibility for an A/V and mobile business that was worth about $5 billion in its day.
But at that point, the job became more about people than about product as Souder led a team of 150 whose activities supported the livelihoods of 30,000 others. When he joined Crutchfield, he brought those “people” skills with him, continuing his legacy of leadership there in 2003, just as the crossroads of brick-and-mortar retailing and ecommerce were intersecting.