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Stephens Transitions to CEO of Peaksware, Leading Both Music and Sports Brands

Christian Wissmuller • PeopleUpfront • January 21, 2020

Alfred Music and MakeMusic, both part of Peaksware Holdings, LLC portfolio of companies, announced that Andy Stephens has transitioned from Chairman of Peaksware and strategic advisor to each of the portfolio brands to CEO, leading both Music and Sports Brands. The previous CEO, Gear Fisher, is stepping down to pursue new projects and opportunities within the Tech industry. 

“We are so fortunate to have had Gear Fisher be a part of the Peaksware family since its founding in 2014. His incredible passion for our customers and the quality of our products is unparalleled,” said Andy Stephens. “With the Peaksware portfolio where it is today I’m extremely excited to help further shape how we bring deliberate practice content and technologies to more teachers and learners every single day. We thank Gear for all of his contributions to each of the brands within Peaksware.” 

Andy began his career as an investor in 1987 at Strong Capital Management. He then joined Artisan Partners (APAM:nyse) in 1997 where he founded and was the leader of the Artisan Growth Team, an award winning manager of over $30bn in assets under management.  He retired from Artisan in March 2018. He first invested in MakeMusic and TrainingPeaks in 2007 and brought them both together to form Peaksware Holdings in 2014.  Since its inception, Andy has also been leading LaunchEquity Partners LLC, a family office investment firm.

In addition to the transition in the CEO role, Andy has also appointed a new Executive Team that is responsible for managing the Company’s core business operations. The newly developed Music Brands Executive Team is comprised of Greg Dell’Era (VP Product Development), Heath Mathews (VP Content & Licensing), and Johann Gouws (VP Global Customer Team). The appointment of this new Executive Team positions both Alfred Music and MakeMusic for strategic alignment which reinforces the entire ecosystem for learning how to play music from physical products to technological solutions. “We are in a unique position now where we have an Executive team with highly specific and yet highly complementary levels of industry expertise. Bringing them all together to serve the single purpose of building an end-to-end ecosystem that connects retailers, composers, publishers, educators, directors, and musicians, is what Peaksware is all about!” explained CEO Andy Stephens. 

Alfred Music and MakeMusic will continue to operate independently while sharing resources to advance innovations, provide additional content, and leverage distribution channels. MakeMusic will remain steadfast in its long-standing commitment to work equally with all publishing partners to provide the highest level of quality content for musicians and educators within SmartMusic.

MakeMusic owns some of the most advanced and patented technology solutions to support the composing, arranging, teaching, learning, and playing of music. Regular updates and innovations to Finale make it the industry standard for music notation software and the trusted creation tool for composers and arrangers around the world. With more than one million students and 20,000 teachers, SmartMusic is at the forefront of interactive learning technologies for the classroom.

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