MIAMI — Brunswick Corp. announced that Mark Schwabero will take over as chairman and CEO of the company, succeeding Dustan E. McCoy, who led Brunswick through the industry’s most challenging economic times and announced his pending retirement in 2014.
The action is the culmination of “a deep and robust succession process” that has evolved during the past several years, according to McCoy, who will remain with the company through the end of February.
Schwabero, who joined Brunswick’s largest subsidiary, Mercury Marine, in 2004, was promoted to Brunswick president and COO when McCoy announced his retirement with the expectation that he would take over.
“I’ve worked in a lot of industries, and he’s the best business guy I’ve ever worked with,” David Foulkes, vice president and chief technology officer for Mercury Marine, told Trade Only Today. “He’s a fantastic asset to the company. Even from his time with Mercury, he has brought amazing vision.”
During his tenure at Mercury the business launched several outboard engine platforms, including Verado and the 150-hp FourStroke engine, consolidated Mercury’s U.S. engine facilities and delivered record operating earnings.
“Management succession is among the board’s principal responsibilities,” McCoy said in a statement announcing the formal transition. “The board and our management team conducted a thoughtful and thorough succession and transition process.”
“Through Dusty’s direction and guidance, Brunswick emerged from one of the toughest economic challenges it had faced in its 170-year history,” Schwabero said in the statement. “In fact, the company is stronger now than it was at the start of the most recent downturn.
“Dusty’s firm hand, optimism and unshakeable confidence provided foresight and leadership not only for Brunswick, but also for the global marine industry. He has led Brunswick to six consecutive years of strong growth in operating and pretax earnings, as well as delivering strong shareholder value during that time,” Schwabero continued.
The company plans to continue the momentum by further strengthening and positioning Brunswick for successful growth, he said.
“Our growth strategy, coupled with the cost management discipline that we have demonstrated since the last downturn, gives us the confidence that we can achieve the financial targets outlined in our three-year strategic plan,” Schwabero said.
As Brunswick’s COO, Schwabero was responsible for all of the company’s day-to-day operations and led all three business segments — engine, boat and fitness — using the time to become more familiar with all aspects of the company and to work more closely with McCoy and Brunswick’s board.
Schwabero will retain responsibility for all operations, with the heads of the engine, boat and fitness businesses reporting directly to him.