JB Hi-Fi poaches Narta GM as Garonzi retires

By Chris Nicholls

MELBOURNE: Narta general manager Craig Mackie has left after seven years to join JB Hi-Fi as their new hardware general manager.

In an announcement, JB Hi-Fi said Mackie would handle a team of buyers across the hardware categories, including whitegoods and cooking for Clive Anthonys and Hill & Stewart. Mackie will start 16 July.

“Craig’s experience with Narta, his knowledge of the market and his strong relationship with JB’s suppliers will be a tremendous asset to the company,” said JB Hi-Fi chief executive Richard Uechtritz.

JB Hi-Fi also promoted Justin Buxton from his role of DVD product manager to software general manager recently. Buxton will head up the movies, music and games buying teams.

The new hiring and promotion comes after previous hardware and software general manager, Frank Garonzi, decided to retire from JB Hi-Fi in July, after ten years in the position and 34 years in the industry in total. He will remain as a consultant.

"It’s fairly simple … it gets to a stage where one needs to start smelling the roses and [I was] fairly fortunate that Richard asked me to stay on as a consultant, so it will enable me to wind down from the busy schedules I’ve been keeping," Garonzi told Current.com.au.

Garonzi said his workload had yet to be decided, but said he hoped to use his spare time to work on his golf swing and spend more time with his grandchildren.

Garonzi began his working life as an accountant, but said he "absolutely hated standing behind a counter just working figures", so his love of music led him to start a musical instrument sales business. He then moved into consumer electronics in 1974, when he joined Douglas Hi-Fi.

After Douglas Hi-Fi, Garonzi joined Teac, rising to become deputy managing director, before finally joining JB Hi-Fi in 1999.

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