The following is a FAQ about new Polaris CEO Scott Wine, provided by Polaris.
Q: What qualities made Scott the right person for the Polaris CEO Job? What areas does he feel the company can improve?
A: Scott's selection as CEO comes at the end of an extensive and carefully conducted search process. The Board of Directors conducted an extensive evaluation of all candidates and unanimously believes that Scott is the best candidate to lead the company and achieve its ten year vision. The process we laid out at the beginning of the year was carefully followed and the result is outstanding.
Scott is a proven leader with considerable experience across a variety of industries. He has worked for three outstanding international companies, Honeywell, Danaher and United Technologies, with an impressive track record for producing outstanding results.
Q: What changes has Scott indicated he will consider?
A: Scott, and the senior management team, is fully committed to the company's 10-year vision. His experience is in line with our goals of global success, operational excellence, and diversification and on road growth.
Q: Scott is 41. Isn't that young to be the CEO of such a large company?
A: Scott, 41, is a young man to be taking the helm at Polaris, just as Tom (37) and Hall Wendel (37) were when they took over the company. We are confident that he has the potential to lead Polaris for the next decade. He is looking forward to the opportunity to run an exciting, successful company and he and his wife Jill are looking forward to establishing roots in Minnesota for their young family, two sons aged 8 and 4, just as Tom and Michelle Tiller did a decade ago.
Q: Where did Scott come from? Does he have power sports experience?
A: Scott is a proven leader with considerable experience across a variety of industries. He has worked for three outstanding international companies, Honeywell, Danaher and United Technologies, with an impressive track record for producing outstanding results.
Scott's experience strongly matches the goals laid out in the 10 year vision. He bring an excellent mix of engineering, global success, operational excellence and reaching out to a very distinct and like-minded customer set.
Q: Does Scott ride? Is he a good fit for Polaris?
A: We expect Scott to fit the Polaris culture well. He is competitive, loves riding our products and has a passion for seeing a business succeed and grow.
Q: When will Scott officially start? When will Tom be stepping down?
A: September 1, 2008. Q: How involved will Tom be now that a successor has been named?
A: Tom will continue to serve on the Board of Directors and assist Scott through the transition process. As Tom has often stated, when he came to the company 10 years ago, his predecessor Hall Wendel was instrumental in helping him understand how truly special Polaris is, and he became a trusted advisor. Tom expects to play the same role with Scott and will assist him in any area he is asked, but has complete confidence in Scott?s ability to run the company and will quickly step to the side.
Q: Have your partners been made aware of Scott's hire? How will they respond?
A: Our dealers, suppliers and other key partners were all made aware this morning. We have successfully managed these transitions before, to the benefit of Polaris and our partners, and they should be confident that we will do so again.
Q: Do you anticipate changes to your management team?
A: We do not. Scott's skills will complement an already strong Polaris management team, including our President and COO, Bennett Morgan.
Q: Why is Tom leaving?
A: After considerable thought and extensive discussions with the Board of Directors, Tom feels that now is the right time to leave. When Tom came to Polaris from GE, he expected to lead the company for a considerable period and 2008 marks his 10th year at Polaris. The Board of Directors feel they have identified the best person on earth to lead Polaris moving forward and have a solid and experienced management team in place.
Q: Tom is a young man to be retiring. Does he have any other plans? Offers?
A: No. Tom's focus during 2008 has been to lead Polaris and to help the Board to identify the best possible successor, which he has done. His future plans will be developed at a later date.
Q: Are there personal or health reasons for his departure?
A: No. Tom and the company are healthy and strong.
Q: How would you describe the health of the company?
A: The company is healthy and strong. 2007 was a good year for Polaris and 2008 is also strong. We recently announced strong 2nd qtr. financial results and the company's biggest new product launch in its history. Polaris is in good shape.
Q: Why was a successor chosen in such secrecy? Who were the other candidates?
A: Rather than a search distracted by rumors and speculation, the Polaris Board of Directors chose to continue its tradition of transparency by first announcing Tom's plans and conducting the search in a manner that allowed everyone to continue to focus on the business daily. We will not be naming other candidates.
Q: Is the Board satisfied with Tom's and the company's results?
A: Yes. This was a personal decision of Tom's. The Board regrets losing him as CEO. He has done a superb job leading Polaris since he arrived as President and COO in July, 1998 and then became CEO in May, 1999.