2 top Easton-Bell executives resign

2 top Easton-Bell executives resign

Updated 1:35 p.m. Thursday.

RANTOUL — There's been a major shake-up in top management at Easton-Bell Sports.

Paul Harrington is out after five years as president and CEO of the Van Nuys, Calif.-based sports-equipment company, which is building a major assembly and distribution center in Rantoul.

Also out is Donna Flood, who was most recently Easton-Bell's chief operations officer and president of its Giro/Easton Cycling business.

It was Flood who presided over the August groundbreaking for the 815,000-square-foot center being built northwest of the Interstate 57-U.S. 136 interchange in Rantoul.

The company said it remains committed to the Rantoul project.

"We look forward to opening our doors in our new location this fall," said a statement from the company.

In a filing made Tuesday with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Easton-Bell said Harrington "resigned ... to spend more time with his family on the East Coast."

No explanation was given for Flood's departure, other than that she "resigned."

In the wake of those exits, two board members — one very familiar with the Rantoul operations — are filling the voids.

Terry Lee has been named executive chairman and CEO, and Tim Mayhew has been appointed president and chief operating officer.

Lee was once a co-owner of Bell Sports and served as chairman and CEO from 1989 to 1999. The company was later acquired by Fenway Partners and combined with Easton Sports.

Lee has long served as a consultant to Easton-Bell.

"My proud affiliation with Easton-Bell dates back over a decade, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this great company during the next chapter of its growth and development," Lee said in a release.

Lee is chairman of Bell Automotive Products, a business that is not a part of Easton-Bell.

He's also an investor in a golf shoe company, TRUE Linkswear, and senior operating partner at JH Partners, a private equity firm in San Francisco.

Mayhew is a managing director of Fenway Consulting Partners.

In two other changes, Greg Shapleigh has been promoted to executive vice president and general manager of Giro/Easton Cycling, and Jessica Klodnicki was promoted to executive vice president and general manager of the Bell/Blackburn business.

Easton-Bell has two divisions:

— Action Sports, which sells Bell, Blackburn, Giro and Easton products for cycling, skiing and powersports.

— Team Sports, which sells Easton and Riddell products for baseball, hockey, football and lacrosse.

In its most recently quarterly report, Easton-Bell said net sales for the Action Sports division were $89.4 million for the quarter that ended Sept. 29 — down from $95.8 million for the same quarter a year earlier.

The company blamed the drop partly on reduced sales for Giro and Bell specialty cycling helmets and partly on reduced demand for snow helmets and goggles.

In a recent interview with industry publication Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, Lee, 63, said the company would refocus attention on independent bicycle dealers while continuing to sell through other channels.

The most recent departures come on the heels of a string of other exits from sales and marketing positions within the Action Sports division, according to Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.

In January, the director of marketing for Bell and Blackburn left the company. Last July, both the president of Bell and Blackburn brands and the senior vice president of global sales for the Action Sports division stepped down.