CEO Bert Piest Resigns and Leaves ‘Strong Gazelle
Today CEO Bert Piest (photo) left Gazelle and handed the management of the Dutch bike maker over to Jeroen Walraven. He resigned as: “My job is done. I am leaving a
DIEREN, the Netherlands – Today CEO Bert Piëst (photo) left Gazelle and handed the management of the Dutch bike maker over to Jeroen Walraven. He resigned as: “My job is done. I am leaving a strong Gazelle.”
In 2008 Bert Piëst took over the Gazelle management from Ruud Sjamaar who had headed the company since Gilde Buy Out Partners bought the Dutch bike maker for 142.5 million euro from Derby’s Alan Finden-Croft.
Since 2008 Bert Piëst turned around the “financially stressed company as we focused strongly on cash flow which is positive now. Since then also the SAP system was implemented. A new generation of e-bikes has been developed as well as a complete new line-up of bikes including life-style models as well as a new hi-end brand called Gold Line."
“Dealers apparently appreciate our efforts as order intake is high and for the new generation electric bikes even phenomenal. With that my job is done. There’s a strong basis now for further growth in the coming years and due to that I have resigned.”
At last week’s Taipei Cycle strong rumours were going around that paint a completely different picture for Gazelle. Numerous suppliers of the Dutch bike maker told Bike Europe that credit insurances for Gazelle are to stop mid April. Asked if Piëst doesn’t feel that him leaving the company under this circumstances contribute to the nervousness of his partners, he says: “There’s no need for that. The fact that I am leaving now is a positive signal. Gazelle is doing great.”
Referring to the credit insurances that are to drop mid April, he says: “This is nonsense. Gossip. Next to that suppliers have nothing to worry about; we are meeting all our payment schedules and deadlines.”
Nonsense and gossip are according to Piëst also all indications on Gazelle owners actively seeking to sell the company, or that the Gilde Buy Out Partners shareholding has been taken over by the Rabobank. “Such stories have been going around since 2001; since Gazelle was sold to Gilde. The only thing that’s true about it is that Gilde is open for all strategic options.”
Bert Piëst is succeeded by Jeroen Walraven who comes from Dorel Industries. The fact that part of Dorel Industries is the Cycling Sports Groups including (among others) Cannondale, doesn’t mean anything in relation to Gazelle. “I had nothing to do with bikes at Dorel. I was involved in Maxi Cosi kid products. My job at Gazelle will next to the daily management be focusing on supply chain optimalization and market trends and developments.”