By: Ryan Dionne
September 4, 2012
With Tim Petrick back at K2, 34-year Rossignol vet Ron Steele was named North American president of the Rossignol Group, which is owned by holding company Chartreuse et Mont Blanc.
Skiing Business caught up with Steele to talk about his new role and what his plans are for the future.
How do you continue to position and integrate Dynastar, Lange and Look going forward?
We’ll continue moving the brands forward in the same way that we have been. Each brand has been created with its own identity, and that’s a blueprint for our actions on bringing products within that brand to market. From a product level, we’ll of course take advantage of some of the R&D, but that technology may fit best with one brand more than another. If that were the case, we’d apply it accordingly.
From a commercial standpoint, there are efficiencies of scale within a building-shipping, dealer services, accounting, credit, etc. We had a big transitional year in 2008 when we moved to Park City, and I don’t see any major changes that need to still take place. Of course we’re always looking at ways to be better partners with our dealers and that coincides with our back-end infrastructure.
Any retailer-centric initiatives that you have planned?
Nothing specific, but sitting at this chair for less than a week means it’s not on my hit list yet. As the sales and marketing vice president of Rossignol, I worked very closely with the people who impact dealers the most. Whether it’s a business-to-business platform, using Shopatron, or developing a new customer relationship management tool that we’ll integrate this fall, we’ll look at all of it as we try to be better partners.
The S7 really put Rossignol, the brand, back on the map and gave you a boost. Talk about how that came about and if it was the boost you needed.
That did give us a boost and got us on the map. It was a collaborative effort between our French counterparts and us. We wanted to create a ski that performed well in various conditions and brought an element of graphic art that made us unique to the end user-who we saw as a younger demographic.