MADISON, WI (BRAIN)—Meet the eighth and newest employee at Planet Bike, Jeff Frehner.
Frehner takes over in the newly created position of president at Planet Bike. Most people remember Frehner as Cannondale Sports Group's president and chief executive officer—a position he left last August due to travel demands. The job had eventually required a move to Cannondale's headquarters in Bethel, Connecticut.
“I’ve been struggling," Frehner told BRAIN in August 2008. "I’ve been working awful hard to try and keep up with all the travel and being required to be in that [Bethel] office. It was tough, so I gotta see what else is out there."
Frehner said Planet Bike founder and owner Bob Downs is the one who first got in touch with him about taking Planet Bike "to the next level."
"I'm happy to stay in Madison," Frehner said. "Bob's philosophy is one I agree very much with: driving a profitable business that gives back.
"Planet Bike has been proving that its distinctive business model can simultaneously generate positive change in our communities and have a successful bottom line. Planet Bike is perfectly and uniquely positioned to make the most of the world's changing attitudes toward climate change, oil dependence, transportation and health," he added.
Frehner said that Planet Bike has been "growing substantially" in recent years, and that he hopes to continue that trend.
Downs hopes so, too. “Jeff is an authentic guy who shares our passion for bikes and our belief that the bicycle can be a part of making America and the world a healthier and happier place," Downs said.
Frehner got his start in the bike industry at Quality Bicycle Products as HR director and general counsel. He started at Pacific Cycle in 2001, where he worked as the company's general counsel.
Planet Bike designs high quality bicycle accessories that make it easier and safer for people to ride their bikes. Since its inception in 1996, Planet Bike has believed that the bicycle can improve our environment and our quality of life. Therefore, each year it has donated at least 25 percent of profits to causes that promote and facilitate the use of bicycles. Since its founding, Planet Bike has donated more than $660,000 to the grassroots advocacy movement.
For more on this story, including why Planet Bike is well suited to thrive in a difficult economy, and whether Frehner ever considered a job outside the industry, be sure to read the April 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.