Mike O'Connor to fill role

Pearl Izumi president Juergen Eckmann steps down

Pearl Izumi has promoted Mike O’Connor, vice president of consumer service, retail and distribution to divisional president, replacing Juergen Eckmann who has announced his departure, effective from April 1, 2013.

The announcment comes in advance of the company building a new HQ in Louisville, Colorado. The company broke ground on the new building last week and the 55,000 square-foot, energy-efficient facility is expected to open autumn 2013.

Eckmann has been with Pearl Izumi for over 11 years and announced the news to staffers at a company-wide meeting.

He said: “Together with Shimano, Pearl has achieved unprecedented growth in revenue and is set to move into its new home next year. I am beyond grateful. It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Pearl Izumi and Shimano. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this amazing company.”

New divisional president O’Connor has been with Pearl Izumi for nine years and is a longstanding member of the company’s executive committee. Previous to that O’Connor has had a long stint in retail, working with numerous retailers as a consultant with Touche and KPMG/Bearingpoint. He graduated with a BS Degree from John Carroll University and earned his MBA from Case Western University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

He said: “The Pearl Izumi tradition of excellence is unmatched in the industry. I plan to continue our relentless focus on crafting great products, on servicing and maintaining our unique emotional connection with our consumers, and really building on our strong relationships with our core channel of independent cycling and specialty running retailers. We have not only the best cycling, running and tri products and footwear available to athletes, but some of the finest, most talented team members in the industry, so I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of that team.”

Shimano America president Dave Pfeiffer added: “I am thankful to Juergen for the tireless effort he has given in not only building Pearl Izumi into a leading performance cycling, running and triathlon brand; but also in his efforts to grow the brand internationally and also function as a key leader within Shimano. He will be missed but I also have great confidence in Mike and the entire team at Pearl Izumi and have great expectations for their future growth and success."

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