Marine Mover: Polaris appoints Kobes as general manager

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Polaris Industries Inc. has promoted Rich Kobes to general manager of the Polaris marine division, the company reported in a statement yesterday.

Kobes has been director of operations for Polaris’ Roseau manufacturing facility for the past three years. While in Roseau, Kobes was responsible for a major engineering expansion project and also led the company through a devastating flood that struck Roseau in 2002, according to the company.

He replaces Ron Bills, who is leaving Polaris to become president and CEO of Segway LLC, a manufacturer of alternative fuel vehicles, the company stated. The marine division has been led by Bills since 2000.

Mark Karl has been appointed to replace Kobes as director of operations for the Roseau manufacturing facility. He held a similar position at Polaris’ Spirit Lake, Iowa facility for the past three years. Karl has led a plant expansion, established a wholegoods distribution facility and implemented processes to improve Polaris’ product quality and cost.

“Rich’s in-depth knowledge of and experience with the manufacturing side of our company make him uniquely qualified to lead one of our major product lines,” said Tom Tiller, president and CEO of Polaris Industries. “I’m confident Rich will be as successful within the marine division as he has been at our Roseau facility. We also wish Ron the best and thank him for all of his contributions to our organization.”

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