Brunswick Corp. CEO Mark Schwabero will retire at the end of 2018. He will be succeeded by David Foulkes, Brunswick chief technology officer and president of marine consumer solutions.
The company also announced that Manny Fernandez, Brunswick's lead independent director, will become non-executive chairman upon Schwabero's retirement.
Foulkes will also replace Schwabero as a member of Brunswick's board of directors, effective Jan. 1, and will serve for the remainder of Schwabero's term until the company's 2021 meeting of shareholders.
Schwabero joined Brunswick in 2004 as president of Mercury Outboards. In 2008, he became president of Mercury Marine and was appointed Brunswick president and chief operating officer in 2014.
Since becoming chairman and CEO in 2016, Schwabero has led several acquisitions, including the recent addition of Power Products.
Under his leadership, Brunswick initiated the process of separating its fitness business, which the company is working to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
"Under Mark's leadership, Brunswick has continued to improve its operating results and strong track record of revenue and earnings growth," Fernandez said in a statement. "Mark has been instrumental in setting the strategy and transitioning the company to solely focus on the marine industry, particularly on the technologies that will continue to advance the industry, make boating more enjoyable and also refining our portfolio to make it more cycle-resistant."
"The 14 years I've been with Brunswick have been the most rewarding of my career," Schwabero said. "Each day I am inspired by Brunswick's 15,000 motivated and dedicated employees around the world. It has been a privilege to serve as chairman and CEO for the past three years and to lead this world-class organization.”
Foulkes is a “bright and talented leader whose energy is infectious,” Schwabero said.
“His intellect, skills and commitment are representative of the qualities you will find within our deep bench of talent at Brunswick,” Schwabero said. “With the separation of fitness underway and the focus on our future in the marine business, now is the ideal time to make this change.”
Foulkes will help the company sharpen its focus on integrated propulsion systems and “prepare to operate as a pure-play marine company,” Fernandez said.
Foulkes is responsible for the Brunswick Boat Group as president of Brunswick Marine Consumer Solutions and company CTO.
He joined Brunswick in 2007 and for 10 years was head of product development at Mercury Marine, where he led the development of Mercury's outboard lineup, including the recently introduced V-6 and V-8 engines.
Since 2012, Foulkes has worked closely with Mercury Racing and its leadership team to grow the business and introduce a range of high-performance products. As CTO, Foulkes has overseen the launch and development of Nautic-On and Brunswick's iJET Innovation Lab at the University of Illinois.
He also championed establishment of Brunswick's joint-venture with TechNexus to develop a portfolio of investments in startup companies. Foulkes was named to his present position earlier this year.
"David's successful track record of developing exciting and innovative products speaks for itself," Fernandez said. "His deep understanding of technology, commitment to quality and experience introducing innovative business solutions will continue to fuel and ignite creativity throughout the organization."
"I am honored to become CEO of this great company," Foulkes said. "Going forward, we will take advantage of the strong momentum that we have achieved under Mark's leadership and continue to grow our industry-leading portfolio of marine engines and boat brands, offering leading-edge design, technology, quality and customer service. Our focus will be relentless as we seek out innovative, technology-enabled consumer services and solutions that make boating easier, while continuing to demand excellence in executing our marine strategies as we build shareholder value."