Cigarette Racing Team has named Erik Christiansen as company president. A marine industry veteran who spent 21 years at Mercury Marine, Christiansen was the general manager at Mercury Racing before he left to pursue other interests a little more than a year ago.
“We interviewed a bunch of people for the job and I contacted Erik and said, ‘Hey, this is what we’re doing’ and we started talking,” Skip Braver, Cigarette Racing Team CEO, told Trade Only Today. “It’s more than a hire. It’s like adding someone to the family.”
Braver is not leaving or retiring. “I was spending more time than I wanted to spend on the day to day,” said Braver. “I’m going to do what I like to do, spearheading marketing and strategic acquisitions.”
After leaving Mercury Racing, Christiansen went to CMS Mechanical, a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning contractor in Melbourne, Fla. Company owner Bob Bull is a multi-time world and national champion in offshore powerboat racing.
Braver and Christiansen remained friends after many years of collaborating at Mercury Racing. “It was a friendship that went on after his time there,” said Braver.
Christiansen will be making day-to-day, operational decisions at Cigarette Racing. During his time at Mercury, he spearheaded many engine development projects, including the 1075 Sci and the full Quad Cam Four Valve QC4v turbocharged engine series that is currently in production. The 51-year-old engineer also holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.
“It’s definitely an exciting adventure and a dream job for me,” Christiansen said in a statement. “When I first worked on the Mercury Racing 1050 program, which evolved to become the 1075 engine, the very first boat I worked on was the famous American Muscle Cigarette. “We have done a lot of great projects together over the years and it’s incredibly cool to be here with Skip and (longtime Cigarette employee) Bud Lorow. Bud was one of the first people I met at Cigarette and I couldn’t be happier to be working with him, Skip and the rest of the Cigarette team.”
Added Braver, “I needed someone who can run a lifestyle company that makes boats and can do other things. We’re just making the company even stronger than it has been.”