Nationwide Kicks off PrimeTime by Announcing Leadership Transition
As if the first Nationwide PrimeTime event couldn’t have any more big news coming out of it, the group kicked things off of by announcing a huge change at the top of the organization.
In a statement released ahead of the show’s opening, Nationwide announced that Tom Hickman has been tapped as the new President of Nationwide Marketing Group. Part of a long-term succession strategy that’s been in the works, Hickman will assume the top spot as the group’s chairman, Dave Bilas, moves into a role that will make him an advisor to Nationwide’s senior management team.
“Over the last couple of decades, Nationwide has successfully transitioned leadership a number of times,” Bilas said in the statement. “From Lee Guttman, to Ed Kelly, to Robert Weisner and Les Kirk, and then to me. Each leadership change has built upon the last. So, when I brought Tom and several other key team members in six years ago, it was with this next phase in mind. This leadership change positions Nationwide for this new era of retail and I look forward to my new advisor role.”
Hickman, who grew up in the independent retail industry, got his start in a multi-store, family-owned appliance and electronics retail company called Harbour Appliance & TV. He then moved to BrandsMart U.S.A. where he progressed from a commissioned sales person to sales management before moving on to Toshiba where he served for 16 years in a number of capacities. He joined Nationwide as the senior vice president of electronics in 2012.
“I’ve observed an amazing six years of growth for Nationwide’s members, vendors and team,” Hickman said in the statement. “As our members’ sales growth continued to outpace national chains and other independents, a merger with MEGA Group USA increased membership by more than 50%. This unprecedented independent scale made it possible for the group to acquire custom website developer Site on Time in late 2017, and now to announce our investment in RWS and their portfolio of Digital Marketing technologies.”
Hickman was recently honored by the consumer technology segment of the Anti-Defamation League for his work to promote an accepting culture throughout the industry. He spoke about that honor, Nationwide’s merger with MEGA Group USA, and more in a recent Dealerscope Podcast episode.
Dealerscope will be on hand this week at Nationwide’s PrimeTime show. Be sure to check back for more coverage during and after the event.