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Arctic Cat Hires Christopher T. Metz as President/Chief Executive Officer


(11/14/2014)

Christopher Metz, Arctic Cat President and CEO beginning Dec. 3, 2014

 

Arctic Cat Hires Christopher T. Metz as Chief Executive Officer

Metz succeeds CEO Christopher Twomey, who remains board chair

Nov. 14, 2014-- Arctic Cat Inc. today announced that Christopher T. Metz, 49, will join the company as president and chief executive officer on December 3, 2014. Metz succeeds Christopher Twomey, who remains Arctic Cat’s board chair.

Commented Twomey: “The board conducted a national search for a new CEO and we are delighted that Chris is joining Arctic Cat. Chris is a proven leader in the consumer and durable goods industries. He has built a career on improving the performance of market-leading companies. He brings an outstanding strategic skill set to his new role at Arctic Cat – a keen focus on executional excellence and deep experience in product marketing, finance, global operations and talent management. Importantly, he is adept at creating strong partnerships with customers and dealers. Along with the rest of the board, I am pleased to welcome Chris and look forward to working with him.”

Since 2005, Metz has served as a managing director of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm with more than $10 billion in capital under management. Prior to Sun Capital, Metz was president at Black & Decker, leading its Hardware and Home Improvement Group from 1999 to 2005. During his 13-year tenure at Black & Decker, he held various other senior leadership positions, including: president of Kwikset Corporation, the world’s largest residential lockset manufacturer; president of Price Pfister, a leading manufacturer of finish faucets; president of Baldwin Hardware; and general manager of European Professional Power Tools and Accessories, based in Frankfurt, Germany.

Metz said: “I am excited to lead a terrific team at Arctic Cat. The company has a strong consumer brand and significant opportunities to increase its sales and profitability. I am eager to build on the company’s success and enhance shareholder value.”

Metz serves on the board of directors of NYSE-listed Vince Holdings Corp., a global fashion brand and retailer with approximately $300 million in annual revenue.

Metz earned a master of business administration degree from the Kenan Flagler School of Business of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from the University of Delaware.



Comments (22):

Bulldog says:
11/14/2014 12:02:00 PM

What does this guy know about snowmobiling? I hope he is committed to quality and not just the bottom line of the income and expense report like Claude was. This is a very pivotal time for AC as they are rapidly losing market share to Polaris and Doo. I hope Chris has what it takes to turn that around.
Todd says:
11/14/2014 2:03:00 PM

Welcome Chris!! Please remember this is a snowmobile company first!! And Quality, Pride are paramount in this company!
I Bleed Green! says:
11/14/2014 2:04:00 PM

Hey Chris,

Happy customers will take you farther than the bottom line! While I know the company needs to make money, cutting corners and making an inferior product will close the doors, remember that....

CatHead12 says:
11/14/2014 2:11:00 PM

I hope this is a good move in a time where Cat's losing snowmobile market share to Polaris and Ski Doo because of significant problems in quality control coupled with higher prices for comparable machines.

I'm slightly concerned as the companies under Sun Capital's umbrella are not exactly lighting their respective industries on fire, Black and Decker was beginning a period of steep decline and Kwickset seems to be out over their ski's in terms of quality and reliability. Plus he doesn't seem to have ANY powersports experience nor ties to the Midwest where the manufacturing heart of the business lives.

All that said I wish him the best of luck and hope that he can be a vital cog in correcting many of the problems that have been plaguing Cat since Twomey stepped down the first time. I hope that he learns to bleed green like all of us!
Vince says:
11/14/2014 7:42:00 PM

Just a heads up guys, Cat is not losing market share as they have been gaining market share the last few years and are nipping at Polaris's heels to become the #2 sled manufacturer.

The article also points out that Metz has a good background in manufacturing with some quality companies, the man should understand quality sells.
akrider says:
11/14/2014 11:07:00 PM

His background doesn't exactly seem like a good fit for a powersports company. I don't know if this is a good idea or not? The companies he worked for in the past sold products to customers who NEEDED those products, i.e. tools, door knobs and faucets. Very few customers NEED a snowmachine. Many want a sled and I don't see how he'll understand the passion snowmachiners have towards their sleds? I don't get all misty eyed over an old faucet I had as a kid. Or a doorknob for that matter. Plus it looks like he's skipped around a lot from job to job. I don't think that's a good sign either.

We'll just have to wait and see how things work out. I would have perfered to see someone running the company who worked in either powersports or a more similar industry.
Greg Hallstrom says:
11/15/2014 2:55:00 AM

I think Cat should have appointed cousin Joey as the new CEO. He lives and breathes snowmobiles.
Ken says:
11/15/2014 10:32:00 AM

First off welcome Mr. Metz.

Second I totally agree with what "akrider" states about the faucet or doorknob. I too never got misty eyed over those things. I cant' explain the passion I have for Arctic Cat. All I know is that it came when I was very young. Mr. Metz pay attention to what others have replied on here. They are all spot on with their comments. Lots of concerns and great advise for you.

You have to understand the passion the Arctic Cat guys and gals have. Of course a company needs to show profit and enhance shareholder value. This will come, by it's self, with quality products and service. Take it from an ex controller of a multi million dollar manufacturing company. We built quality products and took care of the customer no matter what. We did not cut corners. We did not have recalls or have to replace many parts. I hope and think you understand that it costs the company more, in the long run, to pay for recalls, defective products and upgrades. You will lose customers and eventually the doors will close if those things continue. Make it right the first time and you will have current and new customers for life.

Good luck Mr. Metz and again welcome.
Kevin Hooper says:
11/15/2014 11:34:00 AM

Congratulations to Chris Metz. I have full confidence that after the Claude Jordan era, the AC Board sought and found the right person. Mr. Metz, welcome! I respectfully hope you will aggressively follow a plan that provides innovation; quality; value; and care to your dealers and consumers. Once again, congratulations!
Mike F says:
11/15/2014 5:12:00 PM

Welcome Mr. Metz. I have all the confidence in the world that the board made the right decision this time...but remember AC is not a "normal" company making simple household items. There is an amazing passion here for a company that is "different". Think outside the box...Godspeed!
JDubs says:
11/16/2014 8:23:00 AM

"Importantly, he is adept at creating strong partnerships with customers and dealers."

Lets hope this is true.
Catnation says:
11/16/2014 11:22:00 AM

Quite concerned yet again they hired someone who has no knowledge of powersports industry. Great. Just great.
Tom Mahon says:
11/16/2014 2:53:00 PM

Leave the green emotions out of it , if AC can not produce differentiated machines with higher levels of comfort,power and convenience they will lose market share . The technology gap is huge just in suspensions AC/PO/DO - -weight reductions- on board controls,,,
Its amazing the brand is still so strong its still the price leader .
David says:
11/17/2014 7:13:00 AM

John,

I think it's time for an interview with Mr. Metz the next time your up in TRF. I'd be curious as to the last time he rode a sled, has he ever bought a new sled trough a dealership or needed warranty work on a sled, and has he ever changed a belt or spark plugs on a sled.

Welcome aboard Mr. Metz and keep the track side down!
Dave says:
11/27/2014 9:53:00 AM

Dear Mr Metz:

As a sitting CFO of several successful PE sponsored firms, and also a passionate snowmobiler (2500 miles per year), I can appreciate the challenges a company like Arctic Cat has. It may seem strange for me to say as a CFO, but the answers for success for Arctic Cat do not emanate from the numbers. Passion, as Arctic Cat ads proclaim, drives this business, especially on the snow side. I know that the money is made elsewhere, but the snow side is and always has been the baseline for Arctic Cat. Without that component flourishing, from which much of the innovation and customer passion for all the product springs, Arctic Cat will die. Indeed, there are few products in the world with a more passionate and loyal customer base. “Bleeding Green” is no cliché at Arctic Cat; it’s a way of life. Like Harley on steroids…

Unfortunately, there are limits to how much a company can take its customers for granted. I have been riding Arctic Cats since I was 7 years old, and have probably had at least 30 of them in my lifetime, many of which purchased new. My last Arctic Cat purchase was a top-of-the-line 2013 F1100 Turbo RR, which I rode for 4,000 miles. Unfortunately, my last snowmobile purchase was a top-of-the-line 2015 Ski-Doo XRS 800.

Why?

Because Arctic Cat released and has continued to produce a defective machine where $200 belts last only 150-300 miles. Here, I think the math is important. The cost per belt mile is 15X what it should be – and that’s too much. Yes I have taken it to the dealer, but they couldn’t fix what Arctic Cat failed to properly engineer. My dealer is great but it only goes so far. Yes Arctic Cat gave me a credit on some belts. I won’t get into all of the other numerous issues with the sled, but suffice to say it’s a real bad deal for the ordinary consumer. Fortunately I could afford to take the hit and get out of this sled; but many cannot. I read one quote from a loyal Arctic Cat customer that went something like this: “That’s a picture of me and my son standing next to my new Arctic Cat. Do I look like a bad guy? Why has Arctic Cat treated me this way? I could barely afford this sled and it is breaking me”. Indeed, my own wife told me it was going to be me or the Arctic Cat at the end of last winter after spending every weekend I wasn’t riding in the garage fixing the darn thing. Those stories go on and on.

So do us Arctic Cat lovers a favor and spend some time doing root cause analysis of what went wrong at AC such that in MY 2015, you are still producing a machine with such poor quality/customer experience. I am not an engineer, but as a life-long snowmobiler and real world tinkerer, I have some ideas on what is wrong. My friends and I probably ride one of the hardest duty cycles in the business (200 mile days in Michigan’s UP), and have even ridden alongside of some of your test engineers, so we know how AC tests.

And it’s not enough.
howard doran says:
12/1/2014 4:54:00 PM

I was praying we got a CEO with snowmobile experience. Again,cat fumbles the ball.the quality is just not there anymore and it starts at the top.I waited 4 yrs to purchase the procross model because of all the problems holding the 15 would have all the bugs worked out and the quality of parts would be upgraded.well my new 8000 eltigre,s driven clutch couldn't,t be taken apart because of a boat load of overnight holding the screws,sent to dealer to be drilled out....my 2015 zr is leaking chain case oil and is going back to dealer tomorrow to find problem...neither one has been driven yet!!!!!!...ARCTIC,GET YOUR HEAD OUT A YOUR ADS,YOU,'RE LOOSEING ALL YOUR CUSTOMERS!!!!!!
Brian says:
1/28/2015 9:05:00 PM

I've been in the market for a new atv for a while now. I seriously considered models from Polaris and Can Am. They look really cool and offer a lot of nice features, but engine and frame issues, and seeing them broken down on the trails all the time, scared me me away from both of those brands. I think with any brand, you need to start with a solid, core machine. All the extra "fluff" just adds to the manufacturing cost per asset. I know myself, I'll add all the "fluff"(tires, wheels, lighting, etc) myself. Artic Cat needs to focus on the quality of the core machines, better frame,engine components in order to compete with the other ATVs, SxS and snowmobiles that are out there. Another issue is the quality of labor(are the workers making them content with their jobs and the way the company is going? http://www.consumeraffairs.com/boats/arctic_cat.html I posted this link to the consumer affairs page, scroll down to the complaint that is 3rd from the bottom. This is an employee, with a complaint about the company and it's poor quality control in the manufacturing process. I really like the look of the new XR line of ATVs, but I'm hesitant to put out that kind of money on a possibly, inferior machine. What are the assurances that if I do take a chance on any Arctic Cat machine that any defects, mechanical or otherwise will be taken care of properly? A lot of us out here want to support American brands, but the American brands have to support us, too.
Robert says:
3/3/2015 7:09:00 AM

Ended my relationship with Cat after 42 years. Dealer relations made it impossible to please a customer and allow for a profit at year end.
Not a single call from management asking how can we fix?
Love the brand but couldn't take another year of poor leadership.
Anghelo says:
10/9/2015 2:30:00 AM

Noihntg I could say would give you undue credit for this story.
Reese says:
3/27/2016 7:28:00 PM

I own a 2012 M8 SnoPro and my clutch has failed me at 1600 miles. I have to replace clutch at $470 and i have been told that it's a common problem so when it fails I cannot buy parts to rebuild it... This is crazy to replace a clutch every 1500-2000 miles this was told to me by the dealer. Seriously this is what I must do is replace the whole clutch at $470 a clutch. Why is parts not available to replace what has failed vs the cost of a new clutch TERRIBLE !!

Sent from my iPhone
chris says:
11/19/2016 1:20:00 PM

I have a 2014 XF 8000 high country limited with 648 miles on it. Took it to dealer for winter tune and the primary clutch is shot. Dealer calling Cat Monday to see if they will warrantee it. I have purchased 3 new sleds since 2010 and am about to buy a 120 for the kids. If this is not taken care of by the company bye bye to my brand loyalty. Me and my 5 primary riding partners were all cat brand loyal. We lost one to Polaris and if this costs me $500 I am going to be next. How can a primary go on a sled with 600 miles on it?
Lisa Barletta says:
10/18/2017 2:59:00 PM

Very dissapointed in Artic Cat, They do not stand behind there products, something should not brake after 19 miles and they will not cover it. total bull, never again will I buy artic cat

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