Bodyguard management changes allow company to put laser focus on fitness segment

The former owner of Bodyguard has sold a controlling interest in the fitness company in the Procycle group to three long-time employees. SNEWS® speaks to the new president about the next steps.
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Raymond Dutil, former owner of Bodyguard and owner of sister cycling companies Procycle, Rocky Mountain Bikes and Miele, has sold a majority interest in Bodyguard to three long-time employees, allowing more focus by the new team on the group’s sole fitness company.

“Raymond will focus on the Rocky Mountain bike business,” said Daniel Maheux, the new president and co-owner of Bodyguard. “He will no longer be involved with Bodyguard on a day-to-day basis.”

The three new owners are:

• Maheux, the new president of Bodyguard, who has been with the Procycle Group www.procycle.com/en/default.asp for two decades in the finance and operations areas.

• Ephrem Busque, with Procycle for about 35 years in engineering roles, who will oversee product management and research and development.

• Christian Dutil, part of the family business for about seven years, who will head up the quality control and supplier areas.

The three have purchased a majority of shares from Raymond Dutil to become the controlling investment group as of July 1. Raymond Dutil maintains a small share, but will no longer be in Bodyguard management; he will now focus on the cycling segments.

Despite a change at the helm, Maheux told SNEWS® it will be business-as-usual for Bodyguard customers.

“On a day-to-day basis on the short term nothing will change at all,” he said. The team, including all sales and customer service reps, will remain.

“We have a good, experienced team, and it was important to keep them,” he added.

Raymond Dutil sent a letter to dealers in late June to announce the change, saying in part:

“I wish to announce a new chapter in the Bodyguard Fitness story…. I will maintain a minority share of Bodyguard Fitness but will cease my role as president of the company. …There are no changes to the company's headquarters or contact details. Operations continue as normal and we expect a seamless transition…. Be assured that the new management and the entire Bodyguard team are fullv motivated and ready to meet challenges and make Bodyguard a continued.”

In late 2005, the company hired a general manager to allow Raymond Dutil to focus on the bike segments. (Click here to see a Jan. 26, 2006, SNEWS story, “New Bodyguard GM speaks about company direction.”) That manager left in January 2007 to be closer to his family; at that that time, the company said Raymond Dutil would step back into leadership of the Bodyguard segment, which it purchased in 1996, until he decided a replacement was needed.

Down the road Maheux said he foresees new products as well as company growth with the team’s ability to spend 100 percent of their time on Bodyguard (www.bodyguardfitness.com).

“It’s a bit early to talk about the long term,” he said, “but generally speaking we will enlarge the sales and make Bodyguard a larger company than it is now.”

--Therese Iknoian

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