TEMECULA, CA (BRAIN) — Intense Cycles has hired 15-year industry veteran Chad Peterson in the newly created role of chief operating officer and product director to support the Southern California mountain bike brand’s recent sales growth.
Revenue is up more than 40 percent for 2013, Intense founder Jeff Steber noted, fueled by demand for the company’s Asian-sourced carbon fiber models as well as aluminum bikes manufactured at Intense’s factory in Temecula. Intense’s early entry into the 27.5-inch mountain bike market has also been a significant growth driver, he added.
Peterson joins Intense from Selle Royal Group, where he worked for five years as global hard goods director for the Italian company and as product director for Southern California-based Crankbrothers, which was acquired by Selle Royal in 2008. He also oversaw Patagonia’s bag and luggage program for two years and, before that, got his start in the industry at Cannondale, where he rose to mountain bike product manager during an eight-year tenure.
“The opportunity I had at Selle Royal was great. I have nothing but good things to say about the company,” Peterson said. “But when I think about Intense and what an iconic brand it is, and the chance to be back in a factory setting again creating the entire machine, it’s really an exciting opportunity.”
Steber said bringing on Peterson is part of his plan to build an “A-Team” of leaders with deep industry experience to manage sales growth.
“Chad is one of the first pieces of that puzzle. So to me it’s a really exciting direction we’re going to tighten things up here and get a much higher level of bike industry experience at all levels. Chad can wear a lot of hats around here, but the focus is really going to be on operations and project management,” Steber said.
Peterson also comes aboard as Intense looks to build business selling fully assembled bikes out of its Temecula factory to meet dealer demand for completes, not just frames alone or frames with build kits.
“Many customers view Intense as a frame manufacturer. So the first step is streamlining the factory so we can work more efficiently assembling bicycles and increase volume there. We really want to change the perception of Intense from strictly a frame company to a complete bike company offering the complete experience,” said Peterson.