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Craig Kennedy Named Vice President of Snow & International

Arctic Cat's Craig Kennedy. Photo by

This week, longtime Arctic Cat veteran Craig Kennedy was named Vice President, Snow & International. The announcement was made by Kevin Holleran, President and CEO of Textron Specialized Vehicles.

In his new role, Kennedy will oversee all aspects of Snowmobile engineering, marketing and sales, including Arctic Cat brand management and marketing strategy, snowmobile sales, dealer development, product planning and new product development. Kennedy will also will lead the international sales team for snowmobiles, side-by-sides, ATVs and personal-transportation vehicles. Craig, who will work from our facility in Thief River Falls, Minn., will report to Holleran and serve as a member of the TSV Senior Leadership Team.

In his 18-plus years at Arctic Cat, Kennedy has been a design engineer for the former Tigershark personal watercraft line; a design supervisor for ATVs; product manager for ATVs and side-by-sides; and international business manager. Most recently he was the director of product development for the side-by-side, ATV and Parts, Garments & Accessories product lines.

Kennedy will relocate back to Thief River Falls, where he had worked for many years.

In his new role, Kennedy is replacing Erik Nelson, who had been in the same position for the past 13 months and was looking to pursue new career adventures.

I’ve worked with Kennedy for all of his 18 years at Arctic Cat, and I’m excited for him, the company and Arctic Cat loyalists. Besides being a full-on motorsports enthusiast (who used to roost metric tons of dirt into my face while practicing motocross at the TRF Falls track), Kennedy is a smart, impassioned Arctic Cat guy through-and-through. I see good things happening with him and his team.

Big congrats to Kennedy (who I’ve already pressured to do an interview for ArcticInsider). And big thanks to the great work done by Nelson.



  1. Terrific choice! Great leader for a great job! Craig is TRF family….Craig make our sleds number 1. Best of luck…JRC

  2. Just what the “new” arctic cat needs, a guy who spent 18 years working with watercraft and atvs, to now over see all the snowmobile engineering. I’m sure he’ll be able to get arctic cat ahead of ski doo. We all have seen how well the pwc, atv and side x sides have been going for arctic cat. New company same bad decisions

  3. Congrats Mr. Kennedy! Now lets get more distribution centers out there. We need more dealers and help the ones out there. Stop shoving products down their throats. The smaller dealers can have a few select machines on the floor with out having to stock huge inventories of machines. If a customer wants a different model they can get it through one of the nearest distribution centers that same day or the next.

    My idea is like this: Have a dealer in my town or very close to it that has a few select machines on the floor. I would go into this dealer to look, touch and possibly demo ride. If they did not have the particularly model, on the floor I wanted, they could get it at one of the nearest distribution centers like County Cat that would stock larger inventories of machines for this reason. This would also go for PGA items. This dealer could also service my machine.

    Long ago I had four dealers within a 30 mile radius including one in my home town. Now my closest dealer is about 100 miles away. Too far for me to look, touch and feel or even have my machine serviced. I miss visiting my home town dealer. To me nothing is better than seeing, touching and being around the atmosphere of Arctic Cat. If my home town dealer did not have the item I was looking for, the next closest dealer probably did. I could get it today, the day I wanted and needed it.

    Sorry for the long post. I have more ideas and some of the logistics worked out on this but it could turn out to be a book. Anyway congrats again Mr. Kennedy. Looking forward to the interview John. Thanks.

  4. @ Jason….calm yourself. Much better to have actual powersports folks around than dudes frome Home Depot and Black and Decker. Mr. Kennedy, give er hell!

  5. I want the ultimate toy!!! I’ve owned dozens of toys but I want the 1 that’s really gonna make me look back and say oh? That WAS cool. It’s only happened 7 times for me in my short time on the planet using my little redneck check book
    1) 1986 Honda 250r atc
    2) 1986 Honda 350x atc
    3) 1971 429 mustang Mach 1
    4) 2003 arctic cat f700 sno pro
    5) 2005 Honda 450r trx
    6) 2008 arctic cat f1000 sno pro
    7) 2012 arcitic cat f1100 turbo sno pro

    These are life changing events when you get a toy you like. Arctic cat should be in the biz of creating affordable high performance toys that guys who need to slip on a pair of boots in the morning to go make a living can afford to get. I hope that they can do this

  6. Craig grew up in N Minnesota, pick the ditch, pick the motocross track, pick your paint, he will run you from flag to finish, road approach to section line! JRC

  7. Only reason I even left Polaris is because Russ ebert was my mechanics school teacher 1991-1992.. even after that I waited 10 years to switch to cat. But my whole point is I think cat has the ability to create things now more then they ever have which is what these power sports are all about. It’s the next best thing that gets the money rolling

  8. I agree with Ken, please get more local dealers Craig and don’t make them order a bunch of units they cant sell. They should have a good selection sitting on the floor so you can see the product and then have the ability to order one in a machine if they don’t have the one you want in stock. We had our local implement ready to become an arctic cat dealer until it came time to sign the papers and they told them how many units they were going to have to stock and sell every year. That broke the deal and now I too have to travel a long way to have my machines serviced or to go look at new product. Ski-Doo and Polaris have dealers in practically every town around here so it’s not hard to figure out why they are selling more machines. When new dealers are just starting out let them start slow and build a customer base so they can gradually take more and more units and become bigger dealers over time.

  9. JRC… I’ve been looking forward to seeing you on here since this venture was public. Your comments are appreciate and respected. I’ll leave it at that for others to fully value. Perhaps this warrants a side story from the ‘Insider’?

  10. I second that Ryan, John has been pretty absent from commenting on here since the venture became official. He must still be sorting out his feelings about it.

  11. There are many differences comparing businesses, relying on snow makes our beloved company a difficult business in any assessment. Dealers must make a profit to delight and support customers. Business leaders need profits to invest
    In new products, new plant capital, world class processes, marketing, all to gain market share in a receeding industry.

    Our company needs equal or more resources of our competitors. TXT can provides that resource…..we must turn that investment into shareholder value for the TXT shareholder, our customers and our employees. I’m counting on the strong Norwegians in TRF to take the challenge and be the leader that Cat has been. I’m proud to know so many great folks at Cat. I’m also proud of the great leagacy and history of such a proud and resistant culture and company. I am most proud of having raced some of the greatest races against such great competitors from TRF. Let’s win again! JRC


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