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Steber returns to CEO role at Intense as Herrick exits

Published January 18, 2018

TEMECULA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Intense Cycles announced Thursday that CEO Andrew Herrick has left the company after four years and Intense founder and principal shareholder Jeff Steber has resumed the role of chief executive.

Before joining Intense in early 2014, industry veteran Herrick had been president of Crankbrothers, where he worked for 11 years. When Herrick joined Intense, Steber moved into the role of creative director, focusing on design work.

This December, Herrick helped launch Intense’s new “hybrid, IBD-centric” consumer-direct sales model, called Intense Rider Direct.

“As we have now moved into the Rider Direct business model, it has become more important to me to ensure we reinforce the core authentic roots that made the iconic Intense brand,” Steber said in a release. “I have a renewed focus to lead the brand to fulfill its promise and retain the position as a true innovator and disruptor in mountain biking.

“In making this change, I want to thank Andrew Herrick for his time and efforts to grow Intense and the Intense brand. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

In a follow-up call, Steber told BRAIN that Herrick was a key player in Intense’s transition from domestic aluminum production to carbon fiber manufacturing overseas, growing sales of complete bikes, and was “a big architect” in conceiving and launching Intense Rider Direct.

“I’ve learned a lot. I have to say that it has been a really good ride and lot of good things have happened for Intense. It gave us that boost we needed to get to the next level,” Steber said.

But ultimately, Steber said he realized he wanted to be the face of the company again rather than work behind the scenes.

“It’s a lot to do with me just deciding that at one point I thought I wanted to take a back role, but in reality I realized that I am big part of the heart and soul of the brand and I need to be more immersed in the brand,” he said.

Reached Thursday afternoon, Herrick said of his time at Intense: “I came in to really try to help Jeff to the best of my ability. For the last four years we did a great project, and we went direct to consumer along with the dealer, which I think is a unique model, and I think it’s going to put Intense in a great place. So I think Jeff and the other shareholders are going to continue to make changes, and I encourage that.”

Herrick said he has other interests he’s looking to pursue in the industry, but will take a break first.

“I’ve got other dreams I want to pursue. I love the bike industry, and that’s certainly my intention, but I didn’t want to do that while I was still with Intense,” he added.

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