R. Brad Martin is Retired Chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated, Chairman of RBM Ventures, and former Interim President of the University of Memphis.
Martin served as CEO of Saks and its predecessor firm for nearly 20 years, during which the company grew from a ten-store base in East Tennessee to become a Fortune 500 enterprise. During his tenure, the value of the company’s stock increased more than 12-fold.
Brad Martin also co-founded Corporate Child Care, Inc., which became the largest corporate-affiliated child care company in the United States. As Chairman of RBM Ventures, he is a partner and investor in a variety of private businesses.
Martin serves on the Board of Directors of FedEx Corporation, First Horizon National Corporation, Chesapeake Energy, and Pilot/Flying J.
Brad Martin graduated from The University of Memphis where he served as President of the student body. He earned an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from The University of Memphis.
Martin served five terms as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives and holds the distinction of being the youngest person ever elected to the Tennessee legislature.
He is involved in a number of civic and philanthropic activities and chairs the Martin Family Foundation.
Brad Martin is married to former Dina Miller and is the father of five sons.
Martin retired in 2007 from Saks after serving nearly 20 years as an executive with that firm. He was the principal investor in RBM Acquisition Company, an entity which acquired Saks' predecessor business, Proffitt's Inc. Martin became the Chief Executive Officer of the company in 1989 when it was comprised of ten stores with annual revenues of approximately $70 million. Over the subsequent decade, Proffitt's grew to become one of the largest department store businesses in the United States, generating revenues in excess of $4 billion.
In 1998, Proffitt's acquired Saks Holdings and merged it into Proffitt's, renaming the combined enterprise Saks Incorporated. In 2005 and 2006, recognizing the continuing consolidation of the mid-range department store business and the attractive growth prospects of luxury retail, Martin developed and executed a strategy to divest the company's traditional department store assets, returning over $2 billion to shareholders in the process. During the 18-year period when Martin served as CEO and Chairman of Proffitt's/Saks, the value of the stock increased more than 12-fold.
Brad Martin served as Interim President of the University of Memphis for one year during 2013–2014. During his tenure (in which he declined any compensation from the University), Martin led initiatives which reversed a multi-year trend of declining freshman enrollment, significantly improved rates of student achievement, erased a $20 million structural budget deficit, launched partnerships between the University and the 30 top employers in the metropolitan Memphis area, initiated the largest athletics capital campaign in the history, and froze tuition, thereby, ending 23 years of consecutive increases.
Martin serves on the Board of Directors of three public companies — FedEx Corporation, First Horizon National Corporation, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation. In addition, he serves on the Board of Managers of Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers.
Martin has also engaged in a number of entrepreneurial and private equity activities. In 1987, he co-founded Corporate Child Care, Inc., which subsequently evolved into the largest corporate-affiliated child care company in the United States. Through the current operations of RBM Ventures, Martin has investments in enterprises including food services, real estate, contract packaging/manufacturing, and allied home health care services.
Brad Martin is a graduate of the University of Memphis where he served as President of the student body, and earned an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Martin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from The University of Memphis.
Martin served five terms as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. He was the youngest person ever elected to the Tennessee General Assembly.
Brad Martin serves as Chairman of the Martin Family Foundation which supports a number of philanthropic interests.
Martin lives in Memphis, Tennessee. He is married to the former Dina Miller and is the father of five sons.
Brad and Dina Martin