(FERNDALE, Wash.) — Samson, a worldwide leader in performance cordage, announces that after 41 years with the company Tony Bon will step down as CEO on Jan. 1, 2016. Andrea Sturm has been appointed as Bon’s successor and will be joining the Samson team in November 2015. Bon will remain on staff through the end of 2016 to support Sturm during the transition.
Bon has been a valued member of the Samson team since 1974 when he began on the manufacturing floor in Samson’s Massachusetts facility. He transferred to the Ferndale facility in 1980 and advanced through the company in various positions until being named president in 2007 and CEO in 2013.
“Tony has been an integral part of Samson’s success and growth over the past 40-plus years,” said Russell Ball, CEO of Wind River Holdings, which owns Samson. “Samson always has and always will lead the industry in innovation. Under Tony’s leadership, Samson advanced that effort even further and achieved new heights of synthetic rope technology.”
Sturm comes to Samson with a strong background in international business management, product management, new product development, and marketing and sales. For the last four years, she served as general manager at Fluke Corp., the world leader in electronic testing tools based in Everett, Wash. Previously, Sturm held several positions with Philips Consumer Electronics, including vice president of global marketing and sales with Philips Oral Healthcare, which is best known for its Sonicare line of products.
Originally from Germany, Sturm attended business schools there, as well as in France and the Netherlands. She holds degrees in business administration, international management and marketing. She also speaks several languages, including her native German, English, French, Dutch and Spanish.
Sturm’s international experience, exceptional track record in driving organic growth, leadership skills and customer-centric focus will complement Samson’s already strong management team and R&D division, positioning Samson for long-term growth into new markets and an even greater share in the markets it serves today.
“Samson achieved its best year ever last year and has great potential to continue to grow,” said Bon. “Andrea brings the right combination of skills, leadership, and customer and market focus to take the business to the next level. I’m pleased to see the company in such capable hands and excited for the future of Samson.”
Sturm will begin her new duties at the Ferndale headquarters on Nov. 2.
“I’ve had the opportunity to engage with the Samson team and Wind River Holdings, and I am very impressed with the people I met,” said Sturm. “Samson has a strong team and track record, the leading product and brand in the industry and the oldest, active, registered trademark in the United States. Samson has many opportunities for growth, and I am honored and excited to lead the company and take it to the next level.”
For more than 130 years, Samson has been recognized as a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of high-performance ropes. Among its many accomplishments, Samson invented the double braid and the first high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) fiber ropes. Today, Samson engineers continue to pioneer the use of new fiber technology and the development of innovative coatings and constructions to produce ropes with unprecedented performance characteristics. Samson’s research and development team is meeting an ever-expanding need for products with exceptional performance in critical applications. Samson is part of Wind River Holdings portfolio of operating companies. For more information about Wind River Holdings, visit www.windriverholdings.com.