Thompson is charged with developing short and long-term growth plans for Giant and its retail network, Giant USA said in a press release.
“Thanks to the support of our retailers and the hard work of everyone at Giant, our company is poised now to break from the pack and take the lead among cycling brands,” said Elysa Walk, Giant USA’s general manager. “The best way to do that is by adding JT to lead our sales team. His vast experience and proven track record will help propel Giant forward.”
Thompson left Specialized last week. He started at that company in 1997 as a regional sales manager. He left briefly the following year and returned in 1999 as central sales manager, eventually working his way up the ranks to director of U.S. sales.
Thompson said he recognized Giant’s unique potential for expansion even while working for the competition.
“I’ve always admired the Giant brand for their quality of product, IBD focus, honorable business methods, and their grand opportunity for growth,” he said in a prepared statement. “As I’ve traveled the world, I’ve seen the Giant brand in a leadership role and I want Giant to have the same role in the USA.”
His first order of business will be visiting and working with Giant retailers to determine how the brand can be more relevant and meaningful to dealers and riders.
Thompson is working from Giant headquarters in Newbury Park, California.