How the West was Won
By Natalie Hope McDonald
If you're wondering what a jockey could possibly know about consumer electronics, don't feel bad. Ken Weller gets asked that a lot. The British-born executive has had a long and varied history in the sporting field—and the showroom floor. But during his tenure as president and CEO of Good Guys, a West Coast-dominating specialty retailer, another subject was added to his repertoire: math. Under his leadership, stores added up. Eleven locations multiplied into 45 throughout California, Nevada, Washington and Oregon, and sales increased 500 percent. Good Guys' current 75 locations include 61 stores in California, with four WOW! Multimedia Superstores that are jointly operated with Tower Records. With annual sales of more than $800 million, 29-year-strong Good Guys is the largest specialty retailer of higher-end consumer entertainment electronics in the nation. The Oxford-educated executive believes there are two reasons for this (note his jockeying past): speed and balance.