As a part of its newly developed global growth strategy, Power Plate has named former Nautilus CEO Gregg Hammann as CEO to oversee operations across North America, Europe and other countries, SNEWS® has learned.
The move by Power Plate majority owner, private equity firm JH Whitney, is part of a long-term strategy for the vibration technology company to grow understanding of the training methods in North America and to increase its international market share.
It comes on the heels of Power Plate North America (www.powerplate.com) gaining a new president, Mark De Gorter, who joined the company in June after serving as COO of Velocity Sports Performance, a network of youth sports training centers where he managed the transition after its sale in February 2008.
Most recently, Hammann stepped down as CEO, president and chairman of Nautilus in August 2007 after leading the company (NYSE: NLS) for four years. (Click here to see that Aug. 14, 2007, SNEWS® story)
“I’m a huge believer in the product,” said Hammann, who will be an operating partner of JH Whitney (www.whitney.com). “There’s a huge opportunity. It’s an emerging technology. Not a lot of people know about it or understand it today.”
Hammann told SNEWS he started consulting with Power Plate in August after initial discussions with JH Whitney about working with the private equity group. He began as CEO in early September, but for now will continue to be based in Iowa, where he moved after departing Nautilus.
“Gregg understands how to manage global companies,” De Gorter said. “He has a terrific background in best-in-breed brands. I’m delighted to work with him. He understands how to take brands and make them relevant.”
Power Plate was founded in 1999 by Dutch Olympic Trainer Guus van der Meer, who remains as lead product developer on the management team, De Gorter said. Power Plate North America, which was founded in 2001, is based in Irvine, Calif. It first made an appearance at a fitness trade show in North America at the 2002 IHRSA show.
“Our biggest focal point is to elevate the comprehension of ‘acceleration training’ within the minds of the consumer and the industry as a legitimate, authentic form of exercise,” De Gorter said. “Before, it was looked at as something ‘over there.’”
He said the two have already honed the North America strategy to focus on commercial, vertical and consumer retail fitness, and to develop awareness in leading markets, such as Southern California and New York, before moving into other areas. As a part of the, Power Plate will focus on building its brand of vibration training it calls “acceleration training.” De Gorter told SNEWS it expected to launch at least one additional product at the Club Industry show in October.
SNEWS® View: SNEWS is looking forward to watching the development of vibration technology. At the recent Health & Fitness Business show, at least eight companies showed such equipment, including Power Plate. The biggest hurdle will of course be education. Like with a functional/cable trainer, there is a lot you can do with the equipment, but it is not totally intuitive without a trainer. That is likely why so far most of the growth has been in club or training facilities. SNEWS has reviewed published vibration research in peer-reviewed journals, which until now has not been conclusive, but we expect there is more in the works that will be appearing over the next few years. That could shed a different light on what it can, for whom and how. –SNEWS® Editors