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 Ethan Kaplan to lead expansion into digital products and services


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.  (Sept. 10, 2015) – Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), the world leader in guitars and music equipment, has hired Ethan Kaplan as its first Chief Digital Products Officer. Kaplan will be tasked with building a new global digital products division to support the long-term growth and expansion of the Fender® brand and to create deeper connections with its global community of players.

“We are very pleased to add Ethan to our management team,” said Andy Mooney, Fender’s chief executive officer. “We see a tremendous opportunity to expand the brand into new digital product categories and services that will build on our leadership position with consumers and help us realize the full potential of the brand. Ethan’s experience and skillsets make him a great addition to the team and will serve us well as we work to build and better serve a more connected and engaged community of players globally.”

Kaplan brings an impressive background to the company, with nearly 20 years experience building brands and driving growth across music, technology and digital product development.

Most recently, Kaplan served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Music at Gracenote, a Tribune media company. Prior to Gracenote, Kaplan was Head of Product, Technology and Engineering at Live Nation Entertainment’s Labs division, the world’s leading live music company. There, he was responsible for growing the organization and re-launching Live Nation’s consumer facing properties.

Before Live Nation, Kaplan served as Senior Vice President of Technology for Warner Bros. Records and Warner Music Group, where he drove technology initiatives for Warner’s roster of artists and labels, implemented critical business and tactical intelligence tools, and developed the company’s approach to fan engagement.

“I am very excited to work for a brand dedicated to the creation of music,” said Kaplan. “The Fender brand means so much to so many people, especially me. I look forward to extending Fender’s reach into the digital realm in a meaningful way that resonates with consumers all over the world.”

Kaplan will be based in Los Angeles.

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About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation: Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors, whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® fretted instruments, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel® among others. For more information, visit www.fender.com.

About Servco Pacific Inc.: Servco Pacific Inc. (Servco) is a privately held, Hawaii-based corporation primarily focused on automotive distribution and sales as well as specialty insurance brokerage. With automotive operations in Hawaii and Australia, Servco ranks in the top 30 US automotive dealer groups, and is a leading regional broker in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest placing marine, aviation and employee benefits coverage. Servco’s recently formed private equity group, Servco Pacific Capital, invests in consumer, insurance and service-oriented businesses. Servco was part of the original investor group that acquired Fender from CBS in 1985, and has been actively involved through its ownership and representation on the Fender board from that date. In late 2012, Servco and TPG Growth acquired majority control of Fender. Additional information may be found at www.servco.com.

About TPG Growth: TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, the global private investment firm. With more than $7 billion in assets under management and committed capital, TPG Growth targets investments in a broad range of industries and geographies, with a significant focus on the U.S. and large, emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Southeast Asia. TPG Growth has the deep sector knowledge, operational resources and global experience to drive value creation and help companies reach their full potential. Backed by the resources of TPG, which has over $67 billion of assets under management, TPG Growth leverages the firm's sector teams, portfolio companies and network. TPG Growth's current and past investments represent a mix of disruptive and innovative companies across tech, retail and entertainment including Uber, Airbnb, Box, Domo, Beautycounter, Ride, Angie's Artisan Treats, Fender, SurveyMonkey, Evolution Media and STX Entertainment, among others. TPG Growth has offices in the United States, China, India and Singapore. For more information visit www.tpggrowth.com.