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Yamaha Names Penstone-Smith as VP of Retail and E-Commerce

by Christian Wissmuller • in
  • Featured
  • People
• Created: May 21, 2019

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Douglas Penstone-Smith has joined Yamaha Corporation of America as vice president of retail and e-commerce. He reports directly to Matt Searfus, corporate vice president of integrated marketing.

In the newly-created role, Penstone-Smith is chartered with several initiatives to improve the Yamaha customer experience. He will work to improve and expand the Yamaha Music School in the U.S., which has already trained over six million worldwide. He is also charged with improving the Yamaha brand experience in dealer retail shops, including existing successful initiatives such as the Yamaha Experience Center and Shokunin Dealer displays. His role in expanding e-commerce is to help drive customers to dealer retail locations and to increase Yamaha connection to customers.

“Douglas brings with him a long record of success in leading innovative retail solutions and customer experiences,” Searfus said. “He has a deep understanding of the shopping journey and how to create a customer-first focus; we are pleased to have a talented mind like Douglas’s working for Yamaha.”

Before joining Yamaha, Penstone-Smith dedicated 13 years to The LEGO Group, beginning his tenure in an analyst capacity in the United Kingdom and ascending through managerial positions in the European Union and United States to become director of retail experience, a post he held for six years. In that position, he oversaw the evolution and elevation of LEGO retail environments globally, creating a relevant LEGO experience across the end-to-end shopping journey. Penstone-Smith and his team shaped and enhanced guest experiences and solutions in flagship stores in London, Shanghai and Berlin, as well as 133 other retail stores around the world. As director of retail experience, Penstone-Smith also elevated the impact and importance of the company’s direct-to-consumer exclusive product portfolio.

Penstone-Smith has also applied his analytical and organizational acumen at BP/Safeway Partnership (UK) and KFC Ltd. (UK).

“My role at Yamaha is to ensure we better meet the needs and expectations of our customers wherever we meet and interact with them, whether online or in person,” Penstone-Smith said. “I am tremendously excited to work with my team members to build and develop an omni-channel strategy for Yamaha that ensures we deliver the best possible customer experience to our customers.”

Penstone-Smith earned his degree in Business Decision Management from Bournemouth University (UK). He, his wife Tristann, and their two young children Quinn and Evie relocated to California last year after 10 years on the East Coast.

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