KENT, Wash. (BRAIN) — Chris Speyer, currently serving as COO of Accell North America (ANA), has been promoted to CEO, effective immediately. Speyer assumes leadership as Steve Meineke, who has led the organization for the past 10 years, leaves ANA to pursue an opportunity at Keen.
“Accell Group thanks Steve Meineke for leading the formation of the ANA team and for driving dedication, commitment and results to grow our presence and marketshare in the North American market,” said Jeroen Snijders Blok, COO of Accell Group. “The appointment of Chris Speyer to the role of CEO is a natural progression. We have every confidence in Chris’ ability to lead and grow the ANA business and further our reputation for launching leading-edge innovations and for being the most friendly and flexible partner to the bicycle market.”
Speyer’s leadership within ANA has comprised multiple roles ranging from director of product development, to executive vice president focused on brand development, product and marketing for the U.S. and Canada. Speyer began his career in 2006 with Raleigh America and played an active role in the May 2012 sale of Raleigh America to Accell Group, a Dutch holding company and the largest bicycle company in Europe.
Speyer is a proven leader within ANA and a figurehead in the bicycle industry, having served seven years on the BPSA board of directors, and a two-year term as president of the association. He’s been instrumental in the formation of ANA’s vision and is ready to further it in his CEO role.
“I want to thank Steve for his leadership and friendship; he has built a great foundation for the future. I look forward to engaging with our customers and my co-workers on taking Accell North America forward—we have amazing possibilities here. I appreciate this endorsement from Accell very much, this is a great industry to be a part of,” Speyer said.
Meineke agreed that Speyer is ready to take the helm of ANA, and noted that he had planned for him to be his successor. He praised Speyer for his strong connection to the cycling market and high level of engagement with retailers.
“Over my time leading ANA one of the most fulfilling aspects has been building the team to drive a new strategy incorporating an array of incredible brands,” Meineke said. “I feel the utmost confidence in the proven leadership of Chris Speyer to lead ANA to the next era of growth and success.”
Since Accell Group purchased Raleigh America, Meineke, Speyer and Sharon Robinson, CFO, have led the formation of ANA, including reorganization and the investment and implementation of large-scale infrastructure additions.
Speyer said he will support an ongoing effort to clarify what the ANA brand family is to the market, to continue to invest in retail support such as its new warehouse and B2B site and offer inventory availability. “I am excited to continue to tell the story about why this is a good place to do business with, why the multi-brand approach makes sense, and that the legacy of brands like Raleigh and SBS will not be forgotten; we’re just going to invest and approach them a little differently,” Speyer said.
Meineke said he is most proud during his 10-year tenure at Raleigh and ANA of reactivating the Raleigh and Diamondback brands. “The most rewarding part was to see the team that comes together under a shared set of core values, and to really build relationships with our retailers and customers in different stages of engaging with the brand,” he said.
In his next role as president of Keen, Meineke will continue to be brand focused. Meineke described Keen as an amazing lifestyle brand that covers a broad base and platform of consumers. He noted that his experience at Raleigh, as well as previous sales and marketing roles at Salomon North America and Vuarnet-France, shaped him to lead a brand oriented to the multi-experience outdoor consumer. “To me, Keen is a winning formula that equals brand and innovation. It transcends a bunch of different product platforms,” Meineke said.
Meineke will relocate with his wife, Julie, to Keen’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon.