Nautic Global Group names new CEO

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Bradley D. Gates

Bradley D. Gates

Just four months after Nautic Global Group appointed James Malone as its new CEO, the company has shifted once again.

This afternoon Nautic Global Group announced that Bradley D. Gates will serve as the company’s CEO, effective Monday, succeeding Malone, who had taken the helm in October. Malone will continue his role as chairman of the board and Gates will join the board.

The company said in a statement that Malone had been serving as interim CEO. However, the company made no mention of Malone’s interim status during a press event in December, during which Nautic Global Group flew Soundings Trade Only, in addition to other members of the boating press, as well as some key dealers, to meet with Malone. The temporary status was also not mentioned during Malone’s one-on-one interview with Trade Only at the event.

The invitation to what the company called a “fireside chat” alluded to prior management’s closed nature around the press. The meeting signified Malone’s openness to the media, the invitation said.

Calls made to Nautic Global Group were not immediately returned.

“Following an extensive search process, we are excited to welcome Brad to Nautic Global Group,” Malone said in a statement. “Brad is a proven leader, with skills and experience that are a natural fit with our emphasis on quality and service. His team-oriented and high-energy style, combined with his strong professional background in marketing, customer service, aftermarket parts and forward-looking product strategy for dealer-distributed manufacturers, will support our focus on execution while also positioning the company strategically as it enters its next phase of growth.”

Gates previously was president of EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) at Capital Safety Group, a privately owned company that makes and distributes fall protection safety equipment. In this role, Gates developed strategic plans to drive growth, customer service enhancements and profitability, successfully turning around the company’s EMEA business performance and results.

Before joining Capital Safety Group in 2007, Gates progressed through business and marketing roles of increasing responsibility at Minnesota-based The Toro Co., a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of professional turf maintenance equipment and services worldwide. Gates earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing management and a master’s degree in organizational management from Concordia University.

“I am honored to have been selected as Nautic Global’s new CEO,” Gates said in a statement. “I am excited by the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for the company and am committed to its success. I look forward to working closely with the talented senior leadership team and Nautic Global Group’s 900-plus employees to further our objectives of manufacturing great boats and selling them through a great dealer network.

“For more than 60 years NGG has established an impressive presence in the global boating industry,” Gates continued. “I am enthusiastic about joining the team and I look forward to us continuing to enhance the dealer and customer experience as we grow.”


8 comments on “Nautic Global Group names new CEO

  1. Ron Knapik

    I wonder what goals Brad would persue in a similar fire side chat and if Malone’s comments were just a snow job.

    Hopefully Brad will take the Rinkers outboard boat designs out of the 1990’s for starters.

  2. JR Goodman

    Oh righty then, another “non boating background” CEO, hired to run a boat business. I’ll bet he scored 100 on the personality test, however…….Go HR dept.

  3. B Knapp

    Exciting stuff for the NGG 900 plus employees and their extensive dealer network. Brad is a proven leader that is experienced at growing businesses!

  4. Jeff Gibbs

    As a former number one dealer for Rinker for 15 years all I can say is you should be ashamed of what you have done with that company. How about we worry less about an MBA and more about industry experience. Yet another sacrificial lamb to take the blame when market share inevitably declines further. How about some new product that is actually sellable? We held a dominant market share in our region for decades and now don’t even get phone calls for the product from current owners. I have watched now as the decline continues and hiring yet another non industry bean counter is the absolute last thing they needed. These guys are headed the way of Crownline, I would like to formally make my 5MM offer now, call me when you realize your screwed.

  5. Greg G

    Very interesting that I stumbled on this article and these comments. I was doing a web search to find out who runs the company and complain about my Sweetwater pontoon boat. I had a Bennington and sold it when I was transferred across the country. Last summer I purchased a 2013 2086 model. It looks very nice but it has some design flaws. When talking to the technicians at the dealer, they said these boats many design flaws. Whenever they have a problem Godfrey says, “they are hand made so you can’t expect them to be perfect”. Unfortunately they really can’t fix my particular problem without changing the helm and the dealer says Godfrey will never do that. It costs them too much. I will probably be selling the boat after this season and go back to a Bennington. I have nothing good to say about Sweetwater boats. They are not built to last.

  6. D. Smith

    Mixed feelings here…drove a new Hurricane 187 OB w/Yamaha 115HP off the lot in late March. Love the boat, especially in comparison to our previous two boats. But have not had a problem-free day on the water since…continuous prop ventilation issues. Others have had the same problem, which points to a design flaw in the hull/propulsion equation…very, very poor, almost rude customer support from Hurricane’s Customer Support Supervisor. The saving grace is the personalized, very high-quality efforts from boat dealer — not Hurricane itself.

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