Reggie Fountain resigns

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Reggie Fountain, who founded Fountain Powerboats more than 30 years ago, today announced his resignation from the company.

“There are key differences in opinion and philosophy between the current owners and myself on how to run the company,” Fountain said in a statement.

“I’ve always been one that plotted his own course and feel the best ways to utilize my talents is in new-product development, racing and working directly with my customers,” he added. “The performance-boat business is changing fast, and there are certain basic elements that must be in place to succeed.”

Fountain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2009.

After the company was sold to Liberty Associates, Fountain told Soundings Trade Only that he was happy with how things had worked out.

Liberty Associates also is the majority shareholder of Donzi Marine and Pro-Line Boats. It was recently announced that production of both of those lines will be moved to Fountain’s Washington, N.C., facility. Liberty also recently announced plans to relaunch Baja as a standalone line.

It also was recently announced that Fountain Powerboats was discontinuing its factory-direct Fountain Factory Superstore, citing new sales strategies.

John Walker, chief operating officer of Fountain, could not be reached for immediate comment this afternoon. A post on the company’s webiste says Fountain was on “administrative leave” as of Wednesday.

Fountain’s statement did not seem to rule out his return to the boating industry.

“Although I’m not able to announce any firm plans moving forward, boatbuilding has always been my passion, and the future looks both exciting and challenging,” he said.


23 comments on “Reggie Fountain resigns

  1. JS

    This is the best thing that could ever happen to Fountain Power Boats! Reggie’s arrogance finally lead to him losing his own company!

  2. Alex

    Amen JS. Been thinking this for a long time. I have absolutely no connection to either party, but as an outsider with 45 years in the marine industry I always wondered when  this guy would implode.

  3. FDY

    It was more than his arrogance that cost him his company. Alot of boat builders went out of business in the last couple years like they did in the late 80’s and early 90’s… But don’t worry, Reggie will be back. It’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with…

  4. Bobalou

    Reg and Hugh Hefner can get together now and reminisce since their best days are obviously behind them these days.

  5. John Ennis

     Holding companies are little more then parasites feeding on the bottom line and playing lip service to qualiuty and service. This should be a heads up for Pro Line and Donzi owners and those standing in line.

  6. cs

    He has been out of touch for years. The economy took him down and his arrogance wouldn’t let him up this time. Go hang in your palace Reggie and call it a day.

  7. still sailing

    dont let the door hit you on the way out…
    Don’t worry, he will be back – just like a bad cold, or something else.

  8. DJS

    John Walker and Reggie in the same room. Can you blame Reggie for leaving?    Ever since Walker was handed control of Pro Line and Donzi both companies have hit rock bottom. Run Reggie run. And good luck.

  9. captjack

    wow you guys are really kicking old Reggie when he is down i wonder what  George Bush and the late Don Aronow  would say !!!

  10. Business Owner

    I am sorry, but have no respect for any company that files for chapter 11.     Before you start reaching for the kleenex, think of all those suppliers and vendors that sold (really gave) products and/or services to Fountain, just to have the court tell them “all that is left is .05 on the dollars owed”.      Yes, and Liberty bought them without any responsibilty to those previous debts.  More BS.   Isn’t America just great and free country.    Free to go start a business—–buy a bunch of parts—–built your boat——sell the boat——-file for bankruptcy——not pay the parts suppliers thus getting Free parts.   Certainly makes for a nice profit margin.        PS.    Buy a Ford, they didn’t file nor ask for any loans!!!!!!

  11. fast sales

    When i read comments like these I begin to realize why our industry is in such big trouble and the future looks so bleak.
    You people are so misinformed and so not in touch with what our industry is lacking…the fact that Reggie has resigned will do nothing positive for our industry (except fuel consumer speculation as to what Reggie Fountain will do next.)
    What are industry needs are more forward, positive thinking entrepenours just like Reggie Fountain…..we need great boat designers and boat builders that only accept and produce the very best in performance and quaility which is exactly what Reggie Fountain does….we need personalities in our industry that are positive thinkers and have a strong passion for building the best products humanly possible and are not afraid to to stand up and say they will not except anything but the very best….our industry needs more individuals just like Reggie Fountain
    does the man have an ego…you bet…so would you if you had accomplished as much as he has in his lifetime….he certainly is  considered a legend in our industry ..what do you all know about him anyway…i have seen him give back in his community,generate jobs in his community..
    if you have had the opportunity to work with him or be around him you can not help but get caught up in his entusiasum for our industry and he will go down as one the greatest competitors in performance market the industry will ever see and oh yea….the man can run a boat as fast as anyone ever has!!
    i doubt any consumer will buy a Fountain Power boat if Reggie is not involved with the company…i think these new guys are in for a big surprise if they think they can succeed without him
    i would love to sell what ever he gets involved with next

  12. RBLHP

    Always buy a boat built by a family owned company like Grady-White ( I own one), Tiara/Pursuit, Regal, Viking and the list goes on.  I have been in the boat industry for 30 years and in almost every boat plant in the USA and a family owned builder’s quality is consistent.  A “corporate” built boat’s quality is a crap shoot.

  13. Jerry Sezar

    I was introduced to Reggie Fountain thru Paul and Betty Cook around ’76.  I always remembered Pauls comment….”if he ever builds “his boat” it would be the best”.  I eventually was fortunate to be able own a Fountain.  I don’t see the need for a new hull for a few years, but……….I wonder what Reggie will come up with?

  14. BH

    “There are key differences in opinion and philosophy between the current owners and myself on how to run the company,”
    The only key difference I see is that the current owners want the company to be profitable.  And they are willing to make the necessary changes.
    Let the market speak.

  15. 993ttx

    All you nay sayers must not know the man! All I can tell you is look out, his new product will blow your doors off. Then everyone will whine since they did not believe in him.
    As for Liberty, there is a real crew of bandits! Once investigation is complete, they will be done!

  16. JC

    I have known Reggie for over 40 years, and he going to make another great
    opportunity for many people again. Look at what Earl Bentz did with the whirlpool guy.

  17. Kimberly Ashley Ilgen

    Reggie met my husband Mike and me in Austin, TX. Mike bought his second Fountain Powerboat (a 38 ft.) from Reggie. It was special that Reggie posed for pics with us in front of the beauty. He signed a poster for me that said ” You will look great profiling on my boat”. I framed the posture and hung it in my office. I treasure the pics with Reggie because it was such a happy day for my husband. We enjoyed his boat on Lake Travis, Austin. He is a class act!!!

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