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Campy makes rare American hire for Italy HQ

Published July 18, 2012

VICENZA, Italy (BRAIN)—Campagnolo has brought on former U.S. pro track racer James Hibbard as its new public relations manager.

Hibbard, 30, will be the sole American working at Campagnolo’s Vicenza, Italy, headquarters, and fills the position vacated by Lerrj Piazza earlier this year. The Morgan Hill, California, native started two weeks ago, and got a taste of his new gig this week during a media open house in Vicenza when Campagnolo hosted a group of journalists from North America, Japan and Germany.

Hibbard’s hire reflects an internal shift at the guarded Italian component manufacturer, which is now striving for more visibility by inviting media, distributors, retailers and even consumers inside its Italian factory. Hibbard’s goal will be to develop a marketing message that better speaks to the coveted North American market as Campy attempts to win more business with North American suppliers.

“I think there really is a lot of room for growth in terms of marketing initiatives,” he said, speaking Tuesday from a centuries old villa above Vicenza, where Campangolo hosted part of its two-day media event. “Campagnolo is so technology oriented and they’re keen on a more global strategy that taps into North America.”

Hibbard started racing on Hellyer Park Velodrome in San Jose as a teenager and was a junior and elite state champion. He also raced on the road for Shaklee and Health Net. After his 10-year professional cycling career ended in 2005, Hibbard worked at Google in the marketing department for about 18 months then went back to school to work on a master’s degree in philosophy before joining Campy.

Hibbard will initially work out of Campagnolo’s North American subsidiary in Carlsbad, California, with the plan to ultimately relocate to Italy.

Topics associated with this article: People

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