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Sharing John Clancy

Crestron’s chief sales officer discusses his plans for the entire company — and what it means for the residential side he helped grow.

When Crestron announced back in April that John Clancy was being promoted to chief sales officer for the entire company, overseeing both residential and commercial, it made a lot of sense. After all, as head of its residential division, Clancy oversaw the launch of Crestron Home, brought the company back to CEDIA Expo, and increased the global recognition of its residential product offerings, to name just a few accomplishments during his seven-year tenure.

Crestron – John Clancy and Dan Feldstein at InfoComm 2023
Crestron CSO John Clancy and CEO & president Dan Feldstein at InfoComm 2023. Photo by John Staley

It may make sense, but that doesn’t mean the resi side was ready to share him. What about us?

“I made sure we had a succession plan in place,” says Clancy. “That being said, I’m not going anywhere. And, if you think about it, for the first time you have a resi guy now running things in this respect at Crestron. I can make sure it won’t be ignored.”

The succession plan includes Clancy’s previous role as head of residential being taken over by John Yohanna. “He’s been running the western half of the United States residential for the past seven years,” says Clancy. “He’s someone I trust implicitly. He’s a former integrator, and he has been at Crestron for almost 15 years. He gets it.”

Customer Care

While Clancy may be the first person at Crestron to hold the official title of chief sales officer, the responsibilities of the role are not necessarily new — they were previously handled by retired president and CEO Randy Klein for decades. Still, Clancy has his own views on the position.

“First and foremost, it’s about taking care of our customers,” he says. “This is a mantra that George [Feldstein, Crestron’s founder] had decades ago. This is why I became a Crestron dealer. Regardless of what the situation was, I always knew that Crestron had my back. I want to make sure that we don’t drift from that and to have that experience be consistent throughout all markets and all business units.

“Me being in this role allows me to now do what I did on the resi side for our entire business. I was able to take that globally and really reinforce that message of support, and I see an opportunity to do that across all business units in all regions.”

Crestron has been hit by major supply-chain issues the past two years, making Clancy’s job that much more difficult — and that much more important, which is something he is well aware of and prepared for.

“We’ve definitely had some supply-chain challenges over the last couple of years,” he says. “I know that we have done some damage to our name and our reputation. I need to reinforce those relationships with our customers. We need to earn back their loyalty with no excuses. And the only way to do that is to be out there in front of it. Yes, supply is coming together, and we anticipate having some major improvements to our core product lines by the end of the year. It’s taken some time, and it’ll be uneven, but first and foremost I need to go out there and restore that confidence back in Crestron.”

Resimercial Recommendations

With his new, full residential and commercial view of the industry, it would seem that Clancy is in a position to help integrators take advantage of the current trend of residential dealers finding work in the commercial space. However, he explains, “I’m not trying to lead anyone into a market they’re not ready for. There are significant differences in how commercial business is done. Service and maintenance contracts are a huge part of the commercial business, whereas margin on equipment is a big thing in the residential space. Handling that balance of offsetting margin on equipment and directing it toward service and maintenance contracts — and being capable of not just selling but also delivering on that — is a big mindset change that not everyone’s ready for. I think that there’s a discussion to be had.

“Where I see bigger success for some resi dealers wanting to delve into commercial are smaller, light-commercial jobs — the bar, the restaurant, the dentist’s office, the small conference room… But when you are charged with trying to roll out a hundred rooms and do it in a very commercial way — where you’re dealing with electricians on union sites — that’s not a typical skillset a lot of resi dealers have.”

However, dealers that do want to cross over can count on Crestron gear fitting the bill in any market. “The beauty about Crestron is that we have solutions that meet both sides,” says Clancy. “Once a dealer learns how to use our products, then it is not a big uptake on the implementation side. It’s more of a change in business mindset.”

Change Happens

Clancy’s time with the company has prepared him well for this new role — especially since change has been a big part of his tenure so far.

“When I came on, Fred [Bargetzi, Crestron’s CTO] was still there, then we had to deal with a pandemic, Randy retired, and we had significant supply-chain issues,” concludes Clancy. “So, I’ve witnessed a lot. But the benefit I did have was being able to take resi and go global with it in my role and run it the way I saw fit. We grew tremendously and continue to grow in that space.

“Looking backward, there’s been a lot that I have witnessed and learned from that will help me down the road — especially with the interactions on a global scale.”