W.C. Bradley Co. said Thursday it is hiring an international business veteran to run its company of outdoor products, including its well-known Char-Broil gas grill brand.
Effective Nov. 3, Marc Olivié, 54, will become president and chief executive officer of Columbus-based W.C. Bradley. Current CEO Steve Butler will retain the chairman title, while Brad Turner, the company's current president, is retiring.
"With the depth and breadth of his global experience, Marc Olivié brings to our company proven capability for growing value for our ownership and providing opportunity for our team members," Butler said in a statement.
W.C. Bradley's board of directors approved the management changes, with the search process starting nearly a year ago, the company said.
Olivié now serves on the board of directors with MasterCard Worldwide in Purchase, N.Y. His past business experience includes:
Olivié is a native of Belgium, where he graduated from the University of Antwerp with an M.S. degree in business management and engineering.
"We are confident that he shares our values, and will be the kind of leader worthy of the trust of all our stakeholders," Butler said. "With his addition to the great management leadership currently in place, we will have the best team on the field to develop and execute a strategic vision and plan for the future.”
Turner, meanwhile, is retiring from the company after 24 years, but will remain on its board of directors.
"I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Brad Turner for his leadership and vision," Butler said. "He has been a true role model and servant leader for our company."
Privately owned W.C. Bradley Co. has been in transition for several years, shifting most of its production overseas to China to remain financially competitive. The company's Char-Broil division cut more than 600 full-time employees and about 1,000 seasonal grill assembly workers two years ago, idling its 1.2 million-square-foot Belfast Avenue factory.
Georgia Trend magazine recently listed W.C. Bradley's 2007 revenues at $185 million and its employee count at just under 650.
Founded in 1885, the company sells gas grills and other culinary and recreational equipment. Aside from its flagship Char-Broil brand, it also owns Tulsa, Okla.-based Zebco, a fishing equipment business, Lamplight Farms, an outdoor candle division based in Menomonee Falls, Wisc., and the PGA Tour Stop golf equipment store in St. Augustine, Fla.
In Columbus, W.C. Bradley operates a real estate division that currently is redeveloping the old Eagle & Phenix textile mill into luxury loft apartments.