By Kathy Day
Bothell-based Brooks Sports Inc. has seen a number of management changes in recent months, but Jim Weber, who took over as chief executive officer and president in April, says the changes are a matter of fine-tuning.
He’s been on the board for two years, and when the board began searching for a new chief executive, he was asked to step up.
A runner for 25 years, he’s been active in what he calls the "sports enthusiast" industry for a long time. He headed a water sports company, and was president of a division of The Coleman Co.
"My heroes are business builders," he said. "There’s nothing more fun than finding a formula to do that."
The key to success, he added, is combining growth, profits and leadership consistently. He’s got a lot to work with: 120 employees, distributors in 80 countries, manufacturing facilities in Asia, and the financial support of the company’s largest investor, Whitney &Co. of Stamford, Conn.
Building a team is another part of the excitement for Weber.
That’s one reason he’s taking on staff members in a company-sponsored race called the Muddy Buddy Ride and Run. The event, this weekend at the Camp Pendleton Marine base north of San Diego, pits two-person teams in a combination trail run-mountain bike race that comes complete with obstacles, including hay bales and mud pits.
Weber and another employee will compete against a second Brooks team for top company honors.
Team building is also another reason for recent management changes, Weber said.
Ann Iverson, who has been in the retail business for 40 years, was named chairman of the board in June and given responsibility for setting the company’s strategic direction.
David Bohan, who was chief financial officer for edge2net Inc., took on the titles of chief financial officer and senior vice president, and Lisa Arnold was promoted to vice president of customer service and distribution.
In addition, Trip Allen — the company’s director of design for footwear who has worked for Nike, Adidas and Fila — was promoted to vice president of footwear design and development.
The changes, Weber said, "are part of the effort to strengthen the company. Our strategy hasn’t changed. It’s just being honed."