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Jayco Initiates Sweeping Management Changes

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November 19, 2016 by   Leave a Comment

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-10-58-52-amMiddlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc. triggered considerable industry buzz on Friday (Nov. 18) when the 3,300-employee RV builder, a wholly owned subsidiary since June 30 of Thor Industries Inc., announced a “restructuring” of its executive management team that resulted in the appointment of Jayco Towables President Matt Thompson to the position of chief operating officer.

As such, Thompson will oversee day-to-day operations for the RV builder’s Jayco Towables, Starcraft RV, Highland Ridge RV, Jayco Motorhomes and Entegra Coach divisions, according to Jayco President and CEO Derald Bontrager.

The surprise move – the first wave of major changes at Jayco since the 48-year-old, family-held firm’s sale this past summer to Thor — has also resulted in the resignation of Jayco Motorhome Group President Tadd Jenkins.

Matt Thompson

Matt Thompson

Jenkins, for all intents and purposes, has been the face of the emerging Entegra brand of high-end production-style motorhomes nationwide and has been an outspoken member of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Show Committee.

As part and parcel of the management shift, moreover, Highland Ridge RV President Randy Graber, founder of the Open Range RV brand of recreational vehicles nine years ago prior to its acquisition by Jayco, has “been offered another position within the company.”

In addition, Starcraft RV President Akos Sefcsik is being transferred from the Topeka, Ind., business unit to the Middlebury campus as vice president of engineering for Jayco corporate.

Derald Bontrager

Derald Bontrager

Bontrager on Friday declined to elaborate in detail about the restructuring, which, from all indications, is still very much a work in progress on various levels. But he did take the opportunity to praise Thompson, who he feels has the skill sets to take Jayco to the next level as it works to “flatten” its management flow chart.  “Yes,” Bontrager told RVBUSINESS.com, “it’s a much flatter organization – fewer layers.”

“Matt joined Jayco over two years ago and in his short time with the company, has shown exceptional leadership with an innate ability to build strong teams,” Bontrager said of Thompson, a former Thor executive before moving to Jayco. “We are committed to delivering the highest quality products, aftermarket service and customer experiences. This new structure will provide greater opportunities for synergies and shared resources among our divisions. Matt will continue to report to me, and together we will focus on becoming an even stronger partner for our dealers.”

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