Bryson Martin has departed Marzocchi after more than 20 years of leading the suspension brand's U.S. efforts in the bike industry.
Martin and three other ex-Marzocchi employees have formed a new company, Bryson Martin Racing. He said he will reveal details of the new company's plans in the coming weeks.
The other three employees to leave Marzocchi are John Pelino, who was the general manager for 16 years, Tom Rogers who was in Marzocchi USA’s R&D program for 9 years and engineer Josh Baltaxe.
Marzocchi is owned by the publicly traded automotive industry supplier Tenneco (NYSE: TEN); the company had about 14 employees in its Valencia, California, office before the departure, according to Martin.
Andrea Pierantoni, the Italy-based sales and marketing director of Tenneco Marzocchi, said the company is seeking a replacement for Martin. In the meantime Pierantoni will oversee the North American business and split time between Italy and the U.S. Pierantoni is coming to the U.S. later this month to meet with distributors and clients.
Tenneco bought Marzocchi in 2008. For about the last eight years, SR Suntour has assembled most of Marzocchi's suspension forks and shocks in Taiwan; last year SR Suntour was in negotiations to buy Marzocchi's bicycle business. When those talks ended, SR Suntour also stopped assembling Marzocchi's products.
Pierantoni said the company is close to reaching a deal with a new company to do assembly; the company has maintained its relationships with its other Asian suppliers, he said. He said the change in assembly will make it "difficult" to fufil 2012-2013 model year OE deliveries, but won't affect supply of aftermarket products.
Watch for more on this story in the next issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.