Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE:RGR) today announced the appointment of Michael O. Fifer to serve as its Chief Executive Officer, effective September 25, 2006.
During his career, Michael Fifer has held a number of general management positions in companies serving consumer, technology, and industrial markets. He was most recently President of the Engineered Products Division of Mueller Industries, Inc., where his business units had significant improvements in earnings during his tenure. He also led the acquisitions of two new business units which expanded Mueller's operations into Mexico and China. Prior to joining Mueller, Mr. Fifer was President, North American Operations, Watts Water Technologies. While at Watts, he completed numerous acquisitions; led long-term strategy development, business integration and working capital initiatives; and successfully turned around several under-performing business units. This culminated in record sales and operating earnings for his divisions. Prior to Watts, Mr. Fifer held executive management positions in several private companies and served in the U. S. Navy as a submarine officer. Mr. Fifer earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1985 and a BS in Physics from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1978.
Michael Fifer is only the third Chief Executive Officer in the Company's 57 year history, succeeding William B. Ruger (1949 – 2000), and William B. Ruger, Jr. (2000 – 2006). Sturm, Ruger President Stephen L. Sanetti served as Interim Chief Executive Officer in 2006 while the Board conducted a careful search for its next CEO. Mr. Sanetti will continue to serve as the Company's President and General Counsel, working closely with Mr. Fifer.
"Mike Fifer is the ideal choice to be Sturm, Ruger's next CEO," said Sturm, Ruger Chairman VADM (Ret) James E. Service. "His skill sets encompass all those traits of experience, character, leadership, and financial acumen which the Board of Directors mandated for its next CEO. Mike's abilities complement in superb fashion the vast body of industry experience and product knowledge held by our other leaders within the Company," Admiral Service commented.
"I am pleased and honored to be a key part of the new team now heading the nation's finest firearms manufacturer", said CEO – elect Fifer. "Working closely with our newly reconstituted Board of Directors, Ruger President Steve Sanetti, and many other Company leaders, I look forward to leading Sturm, Ruger into its very promising future."
"The saga of Sturm, Ruger in the 21st Century is just beginning," Mr. Fifer added. "I see many opportunities at Ruger to improve operations, revitalize our sales and marketing, and improve shareholder returns. We will remain ever faithful to Bill Ruger's legacy of 'designing quality Ruger firearms to such a standard that we would own them even if they were made by a competitor.' That is the sincerest compliment to his legacy I can think of, and we will build on it to make a great firearms company even better," Mr. Fifer concluded.