Before he was the president of New Age Electronics, the retail division of SYNNEX Corp., Fred Towns—like so many others—started at the small-scale retail level.
After growing up in Maryland and graduating from Towson State University, Towns’ first job in the industry was in the early 1980s with Stereo Discounters, a retailer in his native Maryland that was part of the Dixie High Five chain that later became Circuit City. Having bought sound and lighting equipment, he
was eventually hired as part of the pro source team, and later moved into the retail side, eventually trained as a retail sales manager at the chain’s top store.
From there, Towns began what turned out to be a 20-year career with Panasonic, starting in the Mid-Atlantic office, and moving on to a wide variety of jobs, from heading up the A/V category to taking charge of Panasonic’s Circuit City accounts. His territory grew from Maryland to New York and New England and eventually to the entire Northeast, bringing Towns into the corporate headquarters in Secaucus, N.J.
Having worked his way top to senior vice president of sales and marketing, he got to know New Age Electronics.
“We were looking at new model to expand our distribution,” Towns said. Working with New Age, “I liked what I saw, [I] opened them up for the Panasonic line, and we started business together.” So in 2004, Towns moved to New Age, relocating to the West Coast and taking on the title of senior vice president.
Towns has been there ever since, staying through the company’s 2008 merger with
SYNNEX, in which New Age became SYNNEX’s retail arm. He was promoted to
New Age president in 2011.
The proudest moments of Towns’ career have included his roles in a couple of major changes in the CE market.