Winnebago Taps Toro Executive to Be Next CEO

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

No Warm Welcome For New Winnebago CEO.

FOREST CITY | Recreational vehicle manufacturer Winnebago Industries announced Monday it will appoint Michael Happe as president and CEO and a member of its board Jan. 18.

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE:WGO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday, reports. Happe joins Winnebago Industries from Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro Co., where he most recently served as an executive officer and group vice president of Toro’s residential and contractor businesses.

A 19-year veteran of Toro, Happe held a series of senior leadership positions throughout his career across a variety of the company’s domestic and international divisions. Happe earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Kansas. “The board unanimously agrees that he is the right choice to lead this great company into the future,” Erickson said in a news release. “His extensive leadership experience gained while serving in various roles at Toro resulted in building a track record of success. This, combined with his market development experience and customer focused operating style, has fueled his ability to exceed customer expectations and consistently deliver world-class financial results to the shareholders.” Winnebago enjoyed a period of growth over the past year, having opened a manufacturing plant in Waverly, which employs about 70 workers, over the summer. “Working together with our employees and channel partners, we are committed to increasing value to both the marketplace and our shareholders through high-quality, innovative products and consistent financial performance,” Happe said in the news release.

However, we are concerned about the challenges the company faces in the competitive industry, its dependence on a few dealers and the burden of repurchase agreements. Erickson assumed the position a month after former chief Randy Potts retired in August following four years as CEO and an overall 32-year stint with the Forest City, Iowa-based company.

Concurrent with this appointment, Winnebago announced future expansion of its corporate presence to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area as a way to “provide the leadership of the company with greater access to the strategic and intellectual resources it will need to position Winnebago for successful growth and returns in the future.” In addition to this, the company is also recording year-over-year decline in profits.” Winnebago Industries (NYSE:WGO) traded down 1.661% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $18.655. Winnebago in October also announced a dividend increase, saying its board had approved a payout to shareholders of 10 cents, up from the previous 9-cent level. Other products manufactured by the Company consisted primarily of original equipment manufacturing (OEM) parts, including extruded aluminum and other component products for other manufacturers, commercial vehicles and commercial transit buses. The Company Operates through three major product categories including, Motorhomes, Towable RVs, Other manufactured products.document.write(‘‘); This story was originally published by Storm Investor ( and is the sole property of Storm Investor.

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