Marty Hanaka joins Highland Consumer Partners as operating partner

Highland Consumer Partners has appointed retail executive Marty Hanaka as an operating partner. He most recently was the interim chief executive officer of Guitar Center from January 2013 to April 2013.


Highland Consumer Partners, a growth-stage venture capital firm focused on the consumer sector, today announced that retail executive Marty Hanaka joined the firm in August of this year as an Operating Partner.

Marty most recently was the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Guitar Center, Inc., from January 2013 to April 2013. Previously, he served as the Chairman of Golfsmith International Holdings, Inc., from April 2007 to November 2012, and was the Chief Executive Officer from June 2008 to November 2012. From September 1998 to August 2003, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Sports Authority, Inc., and served as Chairman from November 1999 through June 2004. From August 1994 to October 1997, he served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Staples, Inc., and also served as a member of the Board of Directors. Marty began his career at Sears Roebuck & Co., spending 20 years throughout the organization in various management capacities. He is currently a Director of City Sports and Trans World Entertainment.

“Marty is an accomplished CEO with unparalleled experience in creating industry-leading operations,” said Tom Stemberg, Managing General Partner with Highland. “His experience and track record leading several world-class retail businesses will be a valuable addition to our team as Highland seeks to invest in and help build the next great retailing brands. Marty’s leadership and mentorship capabilities will be critical to creating a culture of success across the Highland Consumer portfolio.”

“I am excited to partner with Highland and believe I can build on the exceptional talent that is already part of the organization,” said Marty Hanaka. “I have worked with Tom Stemberg throughout my career, dating back to Staples and more recently with Highland’s investments in Guitar Center and City Sports. Highland is a firm that has a strong history investing in growth-stage companies in the retail and consumer sectors. I am ready to contribute to the firm’s evaluation of new opportunities, as well as help the portfolio execute on strategic growth initiatives.”

Peter Cornetta, Managing General Partner with Highland, added, “The addition of Marty emphasizes the Highland Consumer Partners’ model of marrying operating and investing expertise to help great people build great companies. Marty has been engaged with several of our investments and we have been able to see first-hand the impact he can have. We couldn’t be more excited to get him more deeply involved with our activities.”

About Highland Consumer Partners

Highland Consumer Partners specializes in retail, services and consumer products investment opportunities in growth-focused companies with proven business models, operating in attractive growth markets. Highland brings together an investment team with extensive experience founding, growing, operating and investing in successful consumer companies. It also offers companies a unique value proposition through the hands-on guidance and active involvement of its domain experts. Highland Consumer Partners has invested in such firms as City Sports, DavidsTea, J.McLaughlin, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Trupanion, Merrick Pet Care, and Pinkberry.

SOURCE Highland Consumer Partners