LAKE FOREST, Ill. - It's big news that George Buckley is leaving Brunswick Corp. for 3M and Dusty McCoy, former Brunswick Boat Group president, has replaced him as chairman and CEO.
The biggest news for the marine industry, however, is yet to come.
McCoy brought a unique leadership style to his position as BBG president that garnered him much respect both internally and externally and allowed the group to take several important steps forward during a time of great change.
“Dusty's the best one we've ever had as the head of that Brunswick Boat Group,” commented MRAA President Phil Keeter. “Whoever they put in to replace Dusty will be the key.”
Who the company chooses to replace him with will not only impact how well the marine brands within BBG function as a group, it will play a major role in Brunswick's relationship with the greater marine industry going forward.
“A strong leader for BBG will be critical to their continued success and their ability to execute on their strategy and plans,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “I think one of the things that Dusty brought to the position was an outsider's point of view. He wasn't encumbered by 'the way things have always been done' in the boating industry.”
Big shoes to fill
In an interview today, McCoy downplayed the importance of this choice, however.
“The real work gets done within the Boat Group largely at the brand level by the wonderfully talented people working within those brands,” he stated.
Perhaps it is that ability to recognize the strengths of those under him that contribute to McCoy's leadership abilities. However, without the many accomplishments - the “real work” - he completed as BBG president, McCoy never would have been named CEO and chairman.
In a conference call earlier this week, Brunswick Corp. Vice President of Corporate Relations Kathryn J. Chieger pointed out that under McCoy's leadership, segment sales have nearly doubled and margins are improving.
“He has invested $665 million to acquire 13 boat brands and a boats, parts and accessories distribution business,” she added. “Initiatives including closed-mold boat manufacturing, the Bayliner 175 strategy, high performance product development, and the Embracing the Dealer strategy, have all taken hold under his watch.”
There isn't a timetable in place to name a new BBG president, according to McCoy, who chose not to indicate whether the company would be looking internally or externally, within the marine industry or outside it.
“As these businesses are in good hands, I can attend to this decision in due course, confident in that the high level of services and products that our customers have come to expect will be maintained,” he concluded.
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- Liz Walz