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Industry veteran Blair Clark to lead Canyon US; German brand sets up California office

Published March 29, 2017
Canyon staffs up as it preps for U.S. entry

KOBLENZ, Germany (BRAIN) — Canyon Bicycles GmbH has made several key hires in the U.S. as it prepares to begin selling direct to consumers in late summer. Blair Clark has joined as president of Canyon US and Thomas Baumann has been appointed general manager, combining industry experience and an outside perspective in the management of its U.S. office.

Clark most recently was president and chief operating officer of GU Energy Labs. Before that he was senior vice president of sales and marketing for Smith Optics for more than a decade. He also is a former vice president at Specialized and president of Giro. He has been an IMBA board member and is chairman of the People for Bikes Foundation.

Clark got his start in the industry working bike retail in the early 1980s at Bicycle Outfitter in Los Altos, California.

Baumann was president and CEO of Orbitak, principal of VW Consulting and manager of the Center of Project Management Competence. He has a doctorate in economics from the University of Bremen and will be handling all operations and creating the blue print for Canyon's future international subsidiaries.

"I've known Blair and Thomas for some time and when they came to the forefront of our executive search, I knew they were the right fit for our company and these roles," said Roman Arnold, Canyon founder and CEO. "Since 2008, Canyon's international sales have surpassed German sales and our brand has continued to grow strongly across the globe. Entering the U.S. marks the next big step for Canyon, and this team will provide the right blend of experience and leadership to guide our U.S. operations."

In addition to Clark and Baumann, Canyon has made other staff hires for its logistics facility in Chino, California, and for its office in Carlsbad. Wendy Engelberg, an IMBA advocate and founding director of the Girlz Gone Riding women's mountain bike club, will be Canyon USA's customer service manager.

After a decade at Oakley, Andy Ellingsen joins Canyon USA as purchasing manager. Richard Wheeler, who formerly was a product quality engineer with Trek Bicycles, will lead the final touch assembly process for the U.S.

"Canyon has been selling the world's best engineered and most innovative bicycles direct to consumers for years, and I have always admired their company from afar," said Clark. "There are huge opportunities in the U.S. for both the company and the bike industry as a whole, and U.S. riders are some of the most demanding in the world. Entering the U.S. marks the next big step for Canyon, and I look forward to helping with this new phase."

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