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Tower Names Interim CEO, Puts Company on Block

31 Jul, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Venerable music and video retailer Tower Records has named investment consultant Joseph D'Amico as interim CEO, succeeding, Allen Rodriguez who left the company Monday.

D'Amico, who is a senior managing director with FTI Palladium Partners, has been mandated to help sell Tower Records.

The 91-store chain, which is owned by a consortium of banks and investment groups, with founder Russ Solomon and family members retaining a 15% stake, has retained the investment bank of Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin to help facilitate a sale.

"I believe that Tower presents a rare opportunity for the right party to leverage a renowned brand name, unique physical locations and an award-winning online presence to turn Tower Records into the preeminent entertainment retailer in the United States."

Rodriguez's departure coincides with the end of his contract, which he chose not to renew, according to a Tower statement.

Rodriguez, who became CEO in October 2003, is largely credited with helping turn Sacramento, Calif.-based Tower from a 46-year-old bankrupt chain to “retailer of the year” in 2004 and 2005, according to the music industry.

In June, Tower launched an online digital music download service with plans to offer movie and TV downloads in the near future. Home video accounts for more than 35% of the chain's revenues.

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