Top Mercury Racing Executives Depart

Mercury Racing’s general manager and director of customer experience leave the company.

There are big changes at the top of Mercury Racing with two executives departing the high-performance engine company this week.

General manager Stuart Halley and Steve Miller, director of customer experience, left Mercury Racing this week after a reorganization by Brunswick, the parent company, officials said. Although a company representative wouldn’t confirm their departures, Halley told he was out after 30 years at Mercury Racing. Both Halley and Miller couldn’t be reached for comment.

Jeff Broman was named the Director of the Mercury Racing category after previously serving as the Director of Engineering for the Fond du Lac, Wis., company. Broman has been at Mercury for 20 years.

“Jeff will oversee Mercury Racing’s product portfolio while leveraging the award-winning capabilities afforded by Mercury’s global scale and expertise in R&D, sales, PD&E, marketing and more,” Mercury Racing said in a statement.

“This change in structure is reflective of our continued commitment to the Mercury Racing brand, our passionate and dedicated customers and our commitment to continuing to provide award-winning products and services to the racing and high-performance market around the world.”

The pair’s departure comes as a surprise as Mercury Racing is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, debuting the 400R and 500R outboards. Halley took over as the general manager of Mercury Racing in 2018, replacing Erik Christiansen, who is now the president of Cigarette Racing Team.

Halley led Mercury Racing through the pandemic with the company seeing explosive growth and an expansion of the company’s facilities to increase production.

Miller started as Mercury Racing’s director of customer experience in 2015, according to his LinkedIn page. Previously, he worked for 21 years for Mercury Marine holding various posts such as global brand manager and senior category manager.

According to a source in Mercury Marine, the departures weren’t performance related, rather it came down to “dollars and cents.”

“The sugar high from the pandemic is wearing off,” the source said.

Like many companies in America, the publicly traded Brunswick (NYSE: BC) is experiencing headwinds. Its quarterly revenues were down 7.3 percent on a year-over-year basis, however, Brunswick still beat estimates by earning $1.7 billion in the third quarter, according to the latest financials released in July. The company’s next earnings report is set for late October.

Brunswick owns a large swath of marine companies including boatbuilders such as Boston Whaler and Sea Ray, engine companies, electronics manufacturers and consumer-facing companies like the Freedom Boat Club.

David M. Foulkes, CEO of Brunswick Corp., said in a conference call with investors in July that the company continues to undertake “diligent cost control.” Mercury Racing continues to be a bright spot for the recreational company.

“There’s quite a bit of backlog in high horsepower still,” said Foulkes, according to a transcript. “We are still running flat out in Mercury on high horsepower, obviously, in terms of satisfying existing OEMs and dealers, that continues to be a priority, but we’re gradually transitioning other customers as well.

“Our retail market share continues to rise as we begin to do that. So yes, we have good backlog still and continue to introduce new products to stimulate things like the 500R is a great new product that will also stimulate additional demand.”

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