Paul Byrne, the president of Precor who has been with the company for 28 years, has announced his retirement.
Byrne will leave his post as president, which he has held since 2000, on Sept. 1, the Woodinville, WA-based company said in a press release. Precor Vice President Rob Barker will succeed Byrne as president in what has been part of a developing succession plan, according to the company.
"Over the past 35 years, I have been fortunate to have been part of an industry that has contributed to the well-being of so many people, and to have spent 28 of those years at Precor has been beyond fortunate," Byrne said in a statement. "It has been an immeasurable gift. I will retire with great pride in what we have accomplished and with eager anticipation of what lies ahead."
Byrne co-founded Concept 90, a chain of stores that helped introduce the concept of specialty fitness retail in the United States, before he was hired by Precor founder David Smith in 1985 to become vice president of sales and marketing. Since Byrne's arrival, Precor says it has grown to become a $350 million global supplier of home and commercial fitness. Precor's Elliptical Fitness Cross-Trainer (EFX) and Adaptive Motion Trainer (AMT) were introduced during Byrne's tenure, as was the Preva networked fitness system.
Upon Byrne's recommendation, Barker, who oversaw the Europe, Middle East and Africa territories as well as Asia Pacific as vice president for the past five years, was unanimously approved to succeed Byrne as president by Heikki Takala, president and CEO of Precor parent company Amer Sports, Helsinki, Finland, and the Amer Sports Board of Directors. Precor operates as the fitness segment of Amer Sports.
Barker joined Precor in 1995 as the sales and marketing manager for the United Kingdom. He also has served on the Precor senior management team. Barker will immediately begin the transition to president and will relocate to the United States, according to the company.
"I am honored and excited to be asked by Paul Byrne and Heikki Takala to become the Precor president upon Paul’s retirement," Barker said in a statement. "I congratulate Paul on his strong career and admire his extraordinary efforts in shaping Precor into the world-leading company that it is today."