Brunswick names new Boston Whaler president

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In a long line of recent domino-effect changes, the Brunswick Boat Group announced that Huw Bower was named president of Boston Whaler, effective Monday.

Bower will leave open his most recent post as president of Brunswick’s aluminum boat brand Lowe. He replaces Tim Schiek, who was tapped to head Sea Ray Boats after former president Rob Parmentier’s departure.

“Any time you move things internally you have a series of domino effects, and we want to be able to play that out as well as we can so we’re strengthened everywhere along the way,” Brunswick Boat Group president Andy Graves told Trade Only Today in February, just prior to Schiek’s appointment.

A new Lowe president will be named in the coming weeks, Brunswick Boat Group announced.

Bower, who will report to Graves, will be responsible for managing the Boston Whaler, Brunswick Commercial & Government Products, and Rayglass teams.

Bower joined Brunswick in 2006, and for the past three years has led Lowe, where he significantly strengthened and expanded the product portfolio, built strong dealer relationships while adding new stores to the dealer body and drove market share gains, Graves said in an announcement.

“Under Huw’s leadership, Lowe has pioneered best practices in lead management and social media,” Graves said in the statement. “He also has adeptly led new product development and market launches of both aluminum fish boats and pontoons, and championed Lowe’s entry into the bayboat market. Huw also has spearheaded the redesign of an all-new aluminum deck boat, to debut this spring, targeted to capture consumer interest in the growing dayboat marketplace.

“Huw’s management experience at Brunswick also includes managing sales and customer service at our fiberglass fish businesses and leading the strategic planning and business development functions for all of our outboard-powered boat brands,” Graves continued. “Raised in Singapore and the U.K., Huw has lived in the U.S. for the past 10 years. He served in the British Commando Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan during the second Gulf War and brings a deep global perspective and rich international experience to this critical leadership role at Whaler. I am enthused to have Huw bring his keen strategic insight, personal energy and passion for the industry to Boston Whaler.”

In addition to those recent shifts, Dave O’Connell — who had been serving as president for Hatteras and Cabo, two brands up for sale — recently assumed responsibilities as senior vice president of global sales for Sea Ray and Meridian, reporting directly to Schiek.

John Ward then succeeded O’Connell as Hatteras/Cabo president, effective immediately, and will report to Graves.

Graves spoke about how recent changes affect the dealer network in the recent interview with Trade Only.

“Certainly when you make changes in the business there’s a reason for people, particularly for our dealer body, to be a bit anxious,” Graves told Trade Only in late February. “But I think as we’ve talked to all the dealer body, and they understand what we’re doing, and what we’re doing going forward, there’s not a lot of anxiety that exists. They have a lot of confidence in what we’re doing and are greatly supportive of the business plans that we have to drive Sea Ray, Meridian and our other brands forward in the future.”

— Reagan Haynes

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