Retail/Wholesale: WILLIAM G. ‘BILL’ CRUTCHFIELD JR.
FOUNDER AND CEO, CRUTCHFIELD CORP., CHARLOTTESVILLE
An entrepreneur from the get-go, Crutchfield started out by selling and installing stereo systems in the Charlottesville area as a high schooler before going on to graduate from the University of Virginia.
Today, Crutchfield Corp., a privately held electronics retailer based in Albemarle County, employs about 800 workers. In fiscal year 2021, the company brought in over $450 million in revenue.
The idea took shape in 1974 while Crutchfield was restoring an old Porsche 356. He couldn’t figure out which aftermarket stereo to install in the sports car and realized he’d stumbled upon an unserved need.
Crutchfield launched a mail-order car stereo business. By the early 1980s, Crutchfield Corp. expanded to sell home audio and video products. Today, customers can visit crutchfield.com to purchase everything from air purifiers to drones. That said, Crutchfield Corp. hasn’t forgotten its roots. The company boasts a database of over 28,000 vehicles created by a vehicle research team to make installing car stereos easier for customers.
WHAT MAKES ME PASSIONATE ABOUT MY WORK: Constantly reinventing my business to meet the challenges of a changing world.
HOBBY/PASSION: Crutchfield has flown planes for 60 years.