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Navarre gets a makeover

Navarre, one of the industry’s leading indie music distributors, has undergone a complete restructuring as part of a five-year strategic plan.

The restructuring is designed to accommodate the rapid expansion of the company, which made a number of acquisitions last year including an equity stake in VelVel Records, the Walter Yetnikoff-led imprint. The company also picked up Record Service Inc., Surfside Distributors and NetRadio.

“While many companies in our industry are cutting back, Navarre is growing and making the changes required to stay out in front of our fast-paced, dynamic marketplace,” said Eric Paulson, Navarre chairman-CEO. “We feel confident that the changes we are making will strengthen our position in the industry and continue to grow our revenues and profits.

The restructuring of the music division merges four regions in the continental U.S. into three: East, Central and Western regions. (Navarre eliminated the Southeast region when Blockbuster relocated from Florida to Texas).

Navarre also is looking for a new veep/G.M. of music distribution to replace Mike Gaffney, who will ankle his 10-year post to be a consultant.

The distrib has tapped Tom Lenaghan, formerly of rack-job leader Handleman Co., as VP-G.M. of its alternative retail marketing division.

Navarre also has made changes in its computer products division, which it claims has a commanding 30% market share in the CD-ROM genre, and has linked it with its multimedia publishing subsid, Digital Entertainment.

Navarre owns NetRadio Network (http://www.netradio.net), a content provider on the Internet that enables computer users to listen to music and news while accessing the Internet or desktop applications.

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