Sturm, Ruger’s universally respected and well-liked CEO Mike Fifer is retiring, the company announced this week.
Fifer will retire at the next Annual Meeting of Shareholders on May 9, 2017, but he will remain on to support the company as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors following his retirement.
Stepping up in his place as CEO will be current President & Chief Operating Officer Christopher J. Killoy, who has already been elected by the board to Director of the Company.
Fifer leaves the company in great shape both financially, sales are up 19 percent in the second quarter of this year, topping $168 million, and in terms of new product offerings. Think of all the cool new stuff Ruger has unveiled over the past several years alone, e.g. the American Pistol, the Precision Rifle, the Silent SR-Suppressor, among others.
One will also recall that Fifer was the one who spearheaded Ruger’s transition into the black rifle market, with the introduction of the popular SR-556 in 2009.
Affordability, availability, and reliability has arguably been the calling card of Ruger during Fifer’s tenure, which has proven to be a recipe for success for the Connecticut-based firearm manufacturing company.
“Mike’s leadership over the past 10 years as CEO has been extraordinary,” said C. Michael Jacobi, Chairman of the Board of Directors in a press release.
“During Mike’s tenure, Ruger’s revenues increased more than four times to $600 million and its market capitalization increased more than six times to $1.3 billion, while at the same time driving shareholder returns eight times that of the S&P 500 Index,” Jacobi continued. “Mike has led the transformation of the Company’s product line and operations, positioning us as a leader in the firearms industry.”
Undoubtedly, Mr. Killoy will have some big shoes to fill. But from the sounds of it, the West Point graduate seems to be a very capable executive.
“Chris is the ideal candidate to become just the fourth CEO in the Company’s 67-year history,” said Jacobi. “Chris has a demonstrated track record of success in a wide range of positions at Ruger and other firearm companies over the past 27 years, and he is well qualified to lead our continued growth and development.”
And Killoy seems ready for the big challenge that awaits.
“I am deeply honored that the Board has selected me to succeed Mike as Ruger’s next CEO”, said Mr. Killoy. “I believe we have the right strategy, the right management team and a bright future. I will work tirelessly to drive our new product development, improve our competitive posture in the marketplace, and focus all parts of our business on enhancing service to our customers.”
EDIT TO ADD:
On Wednesday, during Ruger’s quarterly report conference, Fifer entered the political fray when he spoke about the prospects of a Hillary Clinton administration.
“This is a unique time in our history because for the very first time ever, we have the nominee of a major political party—one with a very reasonable likelihood of winning the presidency—overtly stating that the Supreme Court got it wrong in the Heller case and actively campaigning against the lawful commerce in arms,” Fifer said in reference to Clinton. “That’s unprecedented. It would be hard for any of us to believe that didn’t have some impact [on the uptick in gun sales], but it can’t be measured.”
“We are encouraging our customers and all Americans to have their voice heard and to vote in the November elections. I have no doubt about it. The makeup of the Supreme Court is on the ballot this November, and therefore the Second Amendment is also firmly on the ballot,” Fifer said.