What The Future Holds For Flippin, AR

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What The Future Holds For Flippin, AR

Postby JonT » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:22 pm

It’s not uncommon for management structure changes to take place after a large corporate merger or buyout. In the case of Bass Pro’s acquisition of Fishing Holding’s, LLC – the former manufacturer of leading bass boat brands Ranger, Stratos, and Triton – it took almost a year to see some of Rangers senior management explore opportunities outside of the Ranger brand. Those names include former CEO Randy Hopper, VP of Sales Keith Daffron, and VP of Finance Mendel Hughes. In Hopper’s case, it is speculated that he was with Ranger for over 46 years.

The elephant in the room - why did these executives leave Ranger? With Ranger being a household name in most fishing families, you would have to wonder why members of Ranger’s top senior management would leave behind the brand they have helped become a dominant industry leader. It’s all speculative at this point, but here are a few scenarios as to what might have happened.

1. Overhead. With the experience of Bass Pro’s marketing, finance, and corporate leadership already in place managing their own boat brands, why double up salaries when the workload can be dispersed among already established positions on Johnny Morris’ end? Still surprising is the fact that Bass Pro let key team members go who have been a part of successfully fending off the attack of market share from Bass Pro led brands, such as Nitro and Tracker, as well as the rest of the bass boat manufacturing industry for years.

2. Key leaders were asked to stay, at reduced pay and company roles. It would almost be a slap in the face for these Ranger company leaders to be asked to stay on board with reduced salaries and lesser roles with the new ownership. A wise man once told me that some of the greatest conversations that will ever take place are the ones that occur when no one else is around to hear them.

3. Corporate re-structure is the equivalent of a free-agency period in professional sports. How many of these former Ranger executives were approached by other bass boat manufacturers to come on board and lead their brand to compete on the same marketing and operational platform that Ranger is on?

4. The future of the aluminum boat industry is here – it’s Tracker and not Ranger. What if Johnny Morris decides that the Ranger aluminum boat brand no longer needs to take up market share? What if Tracker corners the aluminum boat market without major competition outside of Lund, Lowe, and G3? What could benefit the Tracker name more than eliminating major competition – along with incorporating any technology from the Ranger line into the Tracker brand? No need to keep key Ranger executives (and their salaries) if significant portions of the business are being cut out.

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