Australian sailboat hardware manufacturer Ronstan announced that Scot West will assume the role of managing director.
West, who is president of Ronstan North America, will succeed Alistair Murray, who has been at the helm for 19 years. Murray will become Ronstan’s chairman.
West will continue in his current role until April, spending the time learning as much as he can about the manufacturing side of the operation, he told Trade Only Today. Murray will continue in operations until July, when he becomes chairman of the board.
He’s excited to bring some of his marketing background to the position to create “engaging dialogue with end users,” West said.
“I think we should do a better job of making ourselves easier to find” in applications outside sailing, West said.
Sailing is the lion’s share of where Ronstan operates, but it has also made strides in the architectural area. The company been receiving international acclaim, recently featuring prominently in high-profile projects in such diverse locations as Kuala Lumpur’s International Airport, Beijing’s Bank of China building and the Baltimore Footbridge, as well as Sydney’s Star City casino.
“We’ve taken our rigging product and reformatted part of it for construction and architectural applications,” West said. “In America, it’s supply only. We sell the products to subcontractors.”
The third arm is the industrial business, which is the smallest but the fastest-growing arm, West said. That includes “anything that we make anyway that ends up on anything other than a boat. It could be a fitness machine or truck body or a number of different applications.
“So when that guy designing something that needs to withstand corrosive environments or more sophisticated pulleys, we want to have the right information for him at the right time in the right place. Content marketing is so much more than having a Facebook page,” West said. “We plan to up our game with that type of marketing, and we think we’ve got a lot of great opportunities and ways to do that better.”
Having desired retirement, Murray has been on board with the coming changes, West said.
“I have spent a long time developing a magnificent team at Ronstan and I am thrilled to have the talent to choose from at all levels to take the company on to even greater success. Scot will do a great job,” Murray said in a statement.
West has been in charge of Ronstan’s U.S. operation for 11 years and has grown the operation here — one of the company’s three major markets. In addition to the United States and Australia, Europe is a major market for the company, although West would like to explore opportunities in Asia.
West will continue to be based in Newport, R.I., although he said he will spend a fair amount of time on an airplane between Australia and the United States.
His first order of business is finding his replacement. “I’m now in full-blown recruitment mode because I need to replace myself in the U.S. So that’s one of my top priorities now.”
Ronstan is based in Melbourne, Australia, and the management team owns the company. Ronstan has manufacturing facilities in Australia, Denmark and Indonesia and a global network of distributors, enjoying a high profile in the sailing and architectural markets in 45 countries worldwide.