Buckley Named Brunswick CEO
Today Brunswick announced George Buckley, recent president of Mercury Marine and more recently Brunswick's President, COO & board member, is the new CEO & Chairman or the Board.
He replaces Peter Larson who joined the company in Apr. 1995 and is now retiring.
They also announced the intent to divest their fishing (Zebco), bicycle and camping operations. This pretty well completes a sell off of all the businesses they bought in the 90's except the fitness firms.
Earlier, they said they were going to move Zebco production to China, now they are going to sell it.
Brunwick Press Release
LAKE FOREST, Ill., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Brunswick Corporation announced today that George W. Buckley has been elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Mr. Buckley has previously served as president and chief operating officer of Brunswick and is a director of the company. He succeeds Peter N. Larson, 61, who has decided to retire after serving as chairman and chief executive officer since 1995. The Brunswick board expressed its appreciation to Mr. Larson for his many important contributions to the company. Mr. Buckley, 53, joined Brunswick in 1997 as president of the Mercury Marine Group, the world leader in marine propulsion. During his tenure, Mercury Marine sales have increased 14 percent and operating earnings have grown 31 percent. Prior to joining Brunswick, Mr. Buckley was with Emerson Electric Company. His career at Emerson culminated with his appointment as president of both the U.S. Electrical Motors and Automotive and Precision Motors Divisions, which have manufacturing operations throughout the world and serve the automotive, petrochemical, medical equipment, and precision machine tool industries. His experience also includes several years as president of the British Railways Board's central services division, a combination of twelve business units that included manufacturing plants, materials management and logistics, technical services, and international engineering consulting. Educated in the United Kingdom, Mr. Buckley holds a Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Southampton and a B.S. in electric and electronic engineering from the University of Huddersfield. Mr. Larson said, "George Buckley is a superb business executive and a highly skilled technologist who is well-equipped to implement the tasks the company is outlining for itself today. Brunswick stands to benefit enormously from the exceptional operating skills and strong international business experience that he brings to his new roles. George has a demonstrated ability to achieve a productive balance between financial controls and cost reduction and investment in new products. He is an innovator with a proven record of success in applying leading-edge technology to drive new product development." In addition, Brunswick announced its intention to divest its bicycle, camping and fishing businesses and expects to report charges related to discontinued operations of approximately $190 million, after tax, in the second quarter. Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Buckley said, "Our financial goals include achieving strong top-line growth and leveraging that growth at the operating earnings line to improve operating margins. To accomplish that, we will be focusing our efforts on marketing our leading active recreation brands, developing products characterized by innovation and technological advantages, strengthening our distribution channels and building on our operational and technical expertise in manufacturing. "Our bicycle, camping and fishing businesses, however, are not meeting our financial criteria, despite significant efforts to improve their performance. As previously announced, we have outsourced production, consolidated operations and reduced headcount. These actions have not been sufficient to outweigh the effect of continued pricing pressure from low-cost Asian imports and weak market conditions in the bicycle, camping and fishing segments. We have, therefore, decided to divest these businesses," Mr. Buckley added. Sales from the businesses to be divested totaled $478 million in 1999, or 11 percent of the $4.3 billion reported by the company last year. These include Mongoose and Roadmaster bicycles, American Camper, and Zebco and Quantum fishing reels and reel-rod combinations. The company said it expected to report diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.97 for the second quarter of 2000, excluding management transition expenses, up from $0.83 per diluted share in the second quarter a year ago. The company added that the $190 million of charges in the quarter related to discontinued operations would include losses from discontinued operations for the current quarter and estimates of operating losses in future quarters; asset write-downs; the write off of goodwill; severance costs; legal, banking and audit fees; and other costs related to the disposition of the businesses. "Looking ahead, we will concentrate on building our leading recreation brands that have good growth potential in the domestic and international markets and where we have demonstrated our ability to grow the brands by offering consumers differentiated, innovative products," Mr. Buckley said. Certain statements in this press release are forward looking as defined in the Private Securities litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations as of the date of this release. These risks include, but are not limited to, the ability to dispose of the bicycle, camping and fishing businesses within the time, price and manner estimated; shifts in market demand for the company's products; competitive pricing pressures; inventory adjustments by major retailers; adverse domestic or foreign economic conditions; adverse weather conditions retarding sales of outdoor recreation products; and imports from Asia and increased competition from Asian competitors. Additional factors are included in they company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for 1999 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2000. Brunswick Corporation is the global leader in consumer products for active recreation with leading brands in pleasure boating, marine engines, fitness equipment, fishing, camping, bowling, billiards and biking. SOURCE Brunswick Corp.
Five Tulsa World Articles
Tulsa World 28 June 2000 by Nicole NascenziBrunswick Corp., Zebco's parent company, announced Wednesday it will sell most of its outdoor products group, including a majority of Zebco, a longtime manufacturer of fishing rods and reels.
The company also announced it will give pink slips to 50 of its salaried employees Thursday after laying off 174 full-time hourly employees Tuesday. Before the cuts began, the company employed about 400.
"We will run our business as if things haven't changed -- we are still manufacturing and shipping products," said Jeff Pontius, Zebco president.
Whether Zebco remains in Tulsa and continues to manufacture reels will be up to the buyer, Pontius said.
Tuesday's layoffs represented the work force of four product lines, which are being moved to China, where production costs are cheaper.
The first reels produced in China will hit the shelves in 2001, Pontius said.
Tulsa World 28 June 2000Fifty more employees at Tulsa-based Zebco will be given pink slips Thursday as the longtime manufacturer of fishing reels and rods is put up for sale, officials announced Wednesday morning.
The 50 employees set to be laid off represent 20 percent of the company's salaried workforce, reports indicate. The new layoffs are in addition to 174 hourly workers who wre let go Tuesday.
Tulsa World 28 June 200 by Russell RayThe layoffs represent the work force of four product lines, which are being moved to China, where production costs are cheaper. Production of the Zebco 33, a premium reel, will remain in Tulsa, a company spokesman said.
About 90 employees remain at the company, located at 6101 E. Apache St.
After several weeks of negotiations, workers agreed to a severance package worth $1 million, which includes eight hours of outplacement training and two to five months of health insurance coverage.
Under the agreement, workers with up to 15 years of service with the company will receive severance pay of $365 for each year of service. Those with more than 15 years of service will receive $370 for each year.
"This is equal to or better than any other agreement Brunswick has done in the last 10 years," said Zebco spokesman Wayne Paulison.
Under its contract with the union, Brunswick Corp., Zebco's parent, is not required to grant the employees severance pay unless the Zebco facility is completely shut down, Paulison said.
Union representatives tried to get the company to provide retirement benefits to workers near retirement age. But company officials refused to consider the proposal, Mullings said.
"They would not even discuss it," he said.
Brunswick had a "moral obligation" to provide early retirement to about 20 employees, Mullings said.
"It's going to be very difficult for them to find a new job," he said. "It wouldn't have cost that company anything to do that."
Paulison refused to discuss the matter other than to say that the benefits package was approved by a majority of the employees who were laid off.
During negotiations, the union file three complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming Zebco officials lied to union officers, tried to bypass union officials in negotiations and failed to supply the union with certain information.
Tulsa World 29 June 2000Evolving from a one-room, four-person operation on North Utica Avenue in 1949 to a corporate giant, employing more than 1,000 people at its 6101 E. Apache St. site in the 1970s, Zebco now employs only a few hundred people.
The future of the company now is up in the air after the parent company, Brunswick Corp., put it up for sale Wednesday.
... Zebco launched a "Made in the USA" campaign in 1993, confident that consumers would be willing to pay more for a quality U.S. product.
Asian competition eventually became too great and profit margins too slim.
Over the years, Zebco grew to be a popular Tulsa company, sponsoring fishing events and clinics. The popular Zebco Family Fishing Festival, which had been co-sponsored by the Tulsa World for many years, was not held this summer out of respect for those losing their jobs.
Seems like they sold off everything Mr. Larson bought and him too.
Mr. Buckley was only made Brunswick President and Chief Operating Officer less than two months ago back on May 8th. We certainly wish him well in running this giant marine operation and are thrilled to see Brunswick bring the focus back to the marine companies.
We noticed the tag line at the bottom of the press release still reads,
"Brunswick Corporation is the global leader in consumer products for active recreation with leading brands in pleasure boating, marine engines, fitness equipment, fishing, camping, bowling, billiards and biking."They might want to consider reworking it?
A 29 June Wall Street Journal article, "Brunswick to Divest Bicycle, Fishing Units, Appoints New CEO." stated the divesture of the units was Mr. Buckley's first act CEO. Thats a pretty big first day on the job decision. We have to assume some of this had been planned for a while.
They are taking a $190 million after tax charge in the second quarter to cover the losses of the divestures. Ouch!!
Return to Recreational Boat Building Industry Home Page
Return to Recreational Boat Building Industry Home Page