Polaris Industries President Bennett Morgan is retiring this month after 29 years with the maker of ATVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles.
The company said that the retirement was Morgan’s choice and that it was not widely known that he would retire.
The executives who reported to Morgan will now report directly to Polaris Chief Executive Scott Wine. A new president will not be named. “That is not the plan,” said spokeswoman Marlys Knutson.
“Bennett dedicated his career to growing Polaris into the global power sports leader we are today,” Wine said in a statement. “We thank Bennett for his significant contributions over the last 29 years and wish him well in his retirement.”
The jovial Morgan, 52, rose up the ranks of Medina-based Polaris and helped it grow from a small player in the power sports sector to an industry powerhouse with $4.7 billion in annual sales.
Morgan was the general manager of Polaris’ fast-growing ATV division from 2001 to 2005.
In 2005, when Polaris had just $1.8 billion in sales, then-CEO Tom Tiller selected Morgan to become president and chief operating officer.
At the time, Tiller said Morgan “understands virtually every aspect of our business, and with his leadership, we are even better equipped to achieve our long-term goals.”
Morgan continued as president after Tiller left the company in 2008 and Wine was named CEO. Since then, Wine and Morgan worked to more than double the size of Polaris. Through acquisitions and new products, they greatly expanded its parts and garments, electric vehicle and motorcycle product lines. They also expanded into Poland, India and Mexico while also expanding in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Alabama.
“It’s been an honor to work at Polaris and with so many amazing people over the past 29 years,” said Morgan in a Thursday e-mail to reporters. “I will remember the relationships and the people more than the accomplishments.”
Polaris’ stock closed unchanged Thursday at $82.90 per share. The stock is trading far below the high of $156 per share the company achieved in July.