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, Proffit'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.
On July 1, 2013, Martin began serving as Interim President of his alma mater, The University of Memphis.
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 and as a member of the U.S. Advisory Board of CVC—a global private equity firm.
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 Venture Company, Martin has investments in enterprises including food services, hospitality, real estate, and allied home health care services.
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 is involved in a number of civic and philanthropic activities through the R. Brad Martin Family Foundation.
Martin lives in Memphis, Tennessee. He is married to the former Dina Miller and is the father of five sons.
Brad and Dina Martin