Pure Fishing, which was recently acquired by private equity firm Sycamore Partners, has appointed Harlan M. Kent as its new chief executive officer, effective immediately. Kent succeeds Neil Eibeler, who has stepped down from the business, according to a release circulated by Pure Fishing.
Kent comes to Pure Fishing with more than 30 years of experience working with and leading some very recognizable brands, including Performance Sports Group, Totes Isotoner and Yankee Candle Company. He is particularly passionate about established, branded companies with great teams, and throughout his career, has a built a proven track record of driving profitable growth across multiple channels of distribution.
“We remain incredibly excited about Pure fishing and the team. And having Harlan join Pure Fishing further affirms our collective belief in the long-term potential of the company and its brands,” said Peter Morrow, managing director of Sycamore Partners.
Kent, who also worked two years for ammunition maker Winchester, was raised in a family that was not afraid of adventure. In a Dec. 2010 New York Times piece, Kent wrote that his mother, sister and he would often meet up with his father during his father's travels to developing countries.
"Once my mother, father, sister and I were dropped off in the bush in Alaska with nothing but small blow-up boats and had to fend for ourselves for a week. We’re all accomplished fishermen," Kent wrote.
Kent is also a member of the board of Costa, Inc., the sunglasses maker.
“I have been an avid consumer of this industry for most of my life and am thrilled to be joining the Pure Fishing team,” said Kent. “It’s not very often that a person can marry their professional career with a personal hobby, so I am grateful for this opportunity. I’m excited to be part of establishing Pure Fishing as a stand-alone business and to continue building and investing in its growth agenda with the team and our portfolio of industry-leading brands.”
“The market has already seen investment activity from Pure Fishing with the recent launches of the Berkley and Abu Garcia Student Angler Program and the Berkley Cast for Cash bait contingency program, and will continue to see more roll out over the coming months,” said Jon Schlosser, VP of marketing for Pure Fishing. “As an avid angler, Harlan sees the value Pure Fishing brings to the industry and we are thrilled to have him on board as we continue to invest in the business and its brands.”