FOND DU LAC, Wis. – Engine builder Mercury Marine has adopted a new business structure centered on Strategic Business Units, the company reported in a statement today.
This move, which took place April 5, was made possible by Mercury's three-year focus on strengthening and solidifying its business and manufacturing processes, programs and practices, according to the company.
As part of this new structure, Mark Schwabero was appointed president of Mercury Marine's outboard business unit, effective April 12.
Evolution of Mercury Marine
The arrival of Schwabero – who Mercury refers to as an “experienced manufacturing executive” – and the organization-structure changes were announced by Mercury President Patrick C. Mackey in a letter distributed to Mercury employees worldwide.
Mackey credited achievements such as 100-percent ISO certification, Workplace Safety programs, adoption of Lean Six Sigma, Customer Collaboration, Account Management, structured product-development process and additional company efforts as helping pave the way for a business strategy suited for Mercury's future growth and the current worldwide market.
"These institutional changes allow us to focus on product-line profitability and business growth without fear that progress will be lost or that programs will be discontinued," said Mackey, who committed to improve business and manufacturing processes at Mercury immediately after taking the helm in 2000.
"The effectiveness of Mercury is and always has been positively affected by the cooperation of individuals and functions across the enterprise," he added. "That type of cooperation will continue to fortify our efforts and ensure success at the next level.”
Under the new alignment, all Mercury operating units except International will be headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wis., Mercury's world headquarters and manufacturing site of Mercury's outboard engines.
Changes in leadership
Schwabero of Napierville, Ill., who reports directly to Mackey, brings to Mercury 28 years of experience as a senior executive in the automotive and commercial vehicle arenas, according to the company. Included in his background are four years as president and chief executive officer of Hendrickson International of Woodridge, Ill., a manufacturer of heavy truck and trailer suspension systems and components. Prior to that he served in executive positions with Pilkington Libby-Owens Ford, Bosch Braking Systems, Allied Signal and Navistar.
Schwabero has bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial and systems engineering from Ohio State University.
Other significant changes at Mercury include the appointment of John Ward as president of the MerCruiser Business Unit, located at Mercury headquarters in Fond du Lac. Ward's most recent post was Mercury's president of its Dealer and Retail Division. Jay Povlin has been appointed to join Ward as vice president of Sales and Marketing at MerCruiser. He recently was vice president of OEM Sales at Mercury.
Vice President of Research and Development Claus Bruestle, who led Mercury's recent completion of its Verado family of four-stroke engines, will continue to serve as the company's product engineering leader.
Jeff Kinsey, recently the company's vice president of Strategy and Business Development, is now Mercury's vice president of Focused Business. Joining him as general manager of Mercury's propeller business unit is Chris Drees, who recently directed the retail and wholesale accounts for Mercury's dealer and retail division.
John Hoagland is now Mercury's vice president of OEM Outboard Sales and Marketing, after serving three years as vice president and chief marketing officer, the company reported.
Industry veteran Jack Malone, who returned to Mercury a year ago, has been appointed vice president of Outboard Dealer and Retail Sales.
The new vice president of Mercury's Service and Parts Unit is Mike Gyorog, who is joined by Doug Pietrowski as general manager of Service Parts Business.
Tony Rudd has been appointed Mercury's vice president of Strategic Improvement and Quality, and Mike Kreder is the new director of Strategy, Business Development, according to Mercury.
Fred Brightbill, formerly Mercury's president of Integrated Operations, recently was appointed president of the Brunswick Boat Group's aluminum division located in Knoxville, Tennessee.