|What Did Cello Have to Do With WorldCom?|
|Home Theater News Industry-Trade News|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Wednesday, 17 July 2002|
What Did Cello Have to Do With WorldCom?
Most high end audio enthusiasts know and respect the cult of personality based around Mr. Mark Levinson, especially his last, highly touted brand of gear and AV showrooms - Cello. Back in the wild, late 1990’s, a financier and audio enthusiast named Rick Adams, actually bought both Cello Ltd. (the electronics company) and the Cello Music and Film showrooms in New York and Los Angeles from Mr. Levinson and various other investors. He was flush with cash from the sale of a past technology company called UUNet which he sold to the now infamous WorldCom.
Adams poured money and resources into Cello’s custom installation business like no one ever had before in the history of AV. The new New York and Los Angeles showrooms were truly monuments to the high art form of audio, video and recording. Teams of designers, nationally prominent AV sales talent like David Daniels and Nick Lucci powered the business model. Ultimately, the Cello concept couldn’t live up to its lofty sales projections especially when the economy finally settled down in 2000. Adams soon thereafter pulled the plug on most of the Cello project and sold off most of its assets. The recording studios, formerly known as Oceanway, still bear the Cello name as does the trendy and well regarded restaurant in NY which boasts a top listing for food in New York on the Zagat guide.
It is hard to know how exactly many WorldCom shares Adams had but I am sure Cello fans and audio enthusiasts alike hope he sold a whole bunch of them back in 1999 at its historical highs above $50 per share.
Sources: etrade.com, http://linux.oreillynet.com, Zagat.com