Johnson Health Tech, Co. Ltd. merges its four U.S. subsidiaries into one fitness equipment powerhouse
The newly formed Johnson Health Tech North America, Inc., led by CEO and President Chris Clawson, combines Horizon, Matrix, Vision and Johnson Health Tech Research & Development
COTTAGE GROVE, Wis. â€“ Sept. 4, 2008 â€“ Johnson Health Tech, Co. Ltd. based in Taichung, Taiwan, today announced it has merged its four U.S. subsidiaries. The new entity, named Johnson Health Tech North America Corp. combines Horizon Fitness, Matrix Fitness Systems, Vision Fitness and Johnson Health Tech Research & Development into one fitness equipment powerhouse.
Johnson Health Tech North America, Inc. is based in Cottage Grove and serves as the North American headquarters of Johnson Health Tech, Co. Ltd. Chris Clawson, formerly president of Matrix, has been named its president and CEO.
â€œThis move enables us to streamline the organization to better leverage our existing resources and improve product distribution through shared warehousing,â€ Clawson said. â€œThe result will be a greater ability to meet customer needs across all of our markets as well as a more efficient organization, which will allow for substantial cost savings.â€
Horizon (which produces consumer exercise equipment), Matrix (commercial products) and Vision (specialty equipment) will retain their brand identities in the new organization, and each will maintain its own sales and marketing groups.
Johnson Health Tech Research & Development was a stand-alone entity that provided shared resources across the three product companies, but now is integrated with the overall organization and will serve as its research and development team.
Mark Zabel, formerly vice president of global marketing for Matrix, has been named vice president, global marketing for Johnson Health Tech North America, Inc. and will oversee all product management and marketing for the Horizon, Matrix and Vision brands.
Bob Whip, formerly president of Horizon Fitness, assumes the role of president, Johnson Health Tech, Wellness and Leisure Group, which is focused on new global business opportunities outside of the fitness equipment market.
â€œI am truly excited about the changes to the North American fitness operation, which will make it much stronger and more strategic,â€ said Whip. â€œAdditionally, I am thrilled to be taking on this new role in the Johnson Group. With its network of major international customers, professional subsidiary offices around the world and an Asian manufacturing base, Johnson has enormous global market potential. I look forward to capitalizing on these inherent strengths and developing the Wellness and Leisure Group.â€
Whip will continue to be involved in the strategic direction of the fitness equipment business on an as-needed basis until the end of the year.
Greg Waters will leave his role as president of Vision Fitness Sept. 30. His 12 years with the company resulted in building a spin-off from Trek Bicycles into an industry-leading fitness brand. Vision accomplishments during his tenure largely centered on customer service initiatives that resulted in an impressive list of awards, including the coveted Pinnacle Award for Overall Excellence from Microsoft in 2006. Over the years, Vision products received 24 â€œBest Buyâ€ ratings from leading consumer publications, including the past six â€œBest Buyâ€ ratings for treadmills. In addition, industry rankings by trade publication GearTrends listed Vision as the top vendor in 2006 and 2007. The publication also recently placed the company at the top of the industry in the bicycle and treadmill categories and at No. 2 in the elliptical category.
Waters will continue to work as a consultant for Johnson Health Tech, Co. Ltd. until Oct. 31 to ensure a smooth consolidation of Vision into the newly formed organization. Going forward, his plans include spending time with his family and training for triathlons.
Other management changes include:
--For the Horizon brand, Mike Olson, formerly vice president, marketing, becomes vice president and will oversee brand sales and strategy in North America.
--For the Matrix brand, Kent Stevens remains executive vice president, sales, but also will oversee brand strategy in North America.
--For the Vision brand, Gary Peak remains vice president, sales, overseeing all North American sales for the brand.
--Nathan Pyles, who was president of Johnson Health Tech Research & Development, remains on the Johnson Health Tech, Co. Board of Directors.
--Tom Moran, who served as vice president, Johnson Health Tech Research & Development, is now executive vice president, product development and quality, of the newly formed company.
All customer and vendor contact information for each of the brands remains the same.
Johnson Health Tech, Co. Ltd. has been producing premium fitness equipment since 1975 and is the world's fastest growing manufacturer of fitness equipment.
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This press release may contain forward-looking statements. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements above. These include, but are not limited to, competitive factors, technological and product developments, market demand and economic conditions.