DEI Holdings, parent company to Directed Electronics, Polk Audio, and Definitive Technology, today announced that its Chairman and CEO, Jim Minarik, has decided to retire on or before July 1. He will continue as chairman of DEI’s board of directors.
Minarik’s decision to retire as DEI’s CEO will bring to a close his 40-year career as a full-time operating executive in the consumer electronics business. Minarik joined DEI as its CEO in 2000 when now Congressman Darrell Issa sold the business he started in 1982 (Directed Electronics). Minarik previously served as the CEO of Clarion Corporation of America from 1992-2000. He started his career at Altec Lansing Consumer Products.
Under Minarik’s leadership, Directed/DEI grew from being exclusively a vehicle security company to a diversified consumer electronics business, holding the No. 1 market share in both the vehicle security and remote start aftermarket with its famous Viper, Clifford, and Autostart brands, as well as the home theater loudspeaker business with its Polk and Definitive Technology brands. During his tenure, the company acquired Definitive Technology, Polk Audio, Autostart, Astroflex, Trilogix, Directed Canada, and Designtech International. It also became the exclusive hardware partner for Sirius Satellite Radio from 2004-2008, went public in 2005 on the NASDAQ, and then became private again in 2011 when it was principally acquired by Charlesbank Capital Partners, a $2 billion private equity fund based in Boston.
“Jim has been a very strong leader at DEI, serving as only the second CEO of the company since its founding in 1982,” said Michael Choe, president of Charlesbank. “The board is grateful for his many contributions and his dedicated service as CEO over the last 15 years.” The board of directors will conduct the process to choose Minarik’s successor and will consider internal and external candidates for the job.
"I've been privileged to lead one of the greatest teams and companies in the CE business over the past 15 years, but it's time to transfer DEI's helm to a new generation of leadership,” said Minarik. “I look forward to working with the board and management team during the transition period and to then continue as non-executive Chairman, being available as an advisor.”