MasterCraft CEO Fred Brightbill leaves

  • After about four and a half years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Brightbill
  • Brad Nelson taking over
  • Brightbill spoke at length and said 157 words

(exechange) — Vonore, Tennessee, March 4, 2024 — Fred Brightbill, chief executive of MasterCraft, leaves his position. As announced by MasterCraft Boat Holdings Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, March 4, 2024, Frederick A. (Fred) Brightbill leaves his post as chief executive officer at the manufacturer of recreational powerboats, after about four and a half years in the role, effective March 18, 2024.

Generally speaking, it raises questions when a CEO leaves his post at short notice.

Fred Brightbill’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Brad Nelson, most recently Executive Vice President and President, Commercial Segment at Oshkosh Corporation.

“Continue executing our strategy”

The management change is explained as follows. Roch Lambert, currently Lead Independent Director of the Board, who will be appointed Chairman, effective July 1, 2024, stated: “Succession planning is a key responsibility of the Board, and over the past several months, we conducted a comprehensive and thorough search to identify an executive with the strategic, operational, manufacturing, business development and leadership expertise to continue executing our strategy.”

Precise information regarding Fred Brightbill’s future plans was not immediately available.


MasterCraft said: “Mr. Nelson succeeds Fred Brightbill (71), who intends to retire as Chief Executive Officer on March 18, 2024, and as Chairman and a member of the MasterCraft Board of Directors, effective June 30, 2024.”

MasterCraft further said: “On March 4, 2024, Frederick Brightbill, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of MasterCraft Boat Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) announced his retirement as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective March 18, 2024, and as Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”), effective June 30, 2024.”

“Not a result of any disagreement”

MasterCraft stated, regarding the change: “Mr. Brightbill’s retirement was not a result of any disagreement with the Company on any matters related to its operations, policies or practices.”

Share price increase since October 2019

The announcement follows an increase in MasterCraft Boat Holdings Inc.’s share price of 47% since October 2019. October 2019 is the month in which Brightbill’s tenure as CEO began.

In the position of CEO since 2019

Fred Brightbill became CEO of the Company in 2019.

He has served as Chairman of the Company since 2015.

Following his retirement from the Board, Brightbill will serve as a consultant to the Company for a one-year period.

His bio reads as follows:


  • Chief Executive Officer, MasterCraft (2019 – present)
  • Principal, Brightbill Advisors, Vantage Development and JB Acquisitions
  • President of the Aluminum Boat Group, Brunswick Corporation
  • Various leadership roles, including President of the Outboard Business Unit and Integrated Operations Division, Mercury Marine
  • Senior leadership positions; including, President, CFO, VP Marketing and Sales in consumer durable businesses


  • B.S., Finance, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • B.A., University of Chicago
157 words by Fred Brightbill

In the release announcing his departure as CEO of MasterCraft Boat Holdings Inc., Fred Brightbill received praise and thanks.

In announcing his departure, Fred Brightbill spoke at length and said 157 words.

“Accelerate its growth”

Fred Brightbill stated: “Since joining the MasterCraft Board fifteen years ago, I have had the pleasure of witnessing the tremendous growth and success of our Company, and the MasterCraft, Crest and Aviara brands. During my tenure, MasterCraft achieved record sales and profits through an overriding focus on providing the best customer experience. The Company’s strong balance sheet and substantial liquidity provide the foundation for future growth. Thanks to the hard work of our talented team, MasterCraft is well-positioned to accelerate its growth as the industry emerges from the current cyclical slowdown. With the Company operating from a position of strength, now is the right time to begin this transition. The Board is confident that Brad is the right person to take MasterCraft’s performance to the next level. This is a pivotal time for MasterCraft, and I look forward to working with Brad and my colleagues on the Board to ensure a smooth transition as we execute on our near-term priorities.”

The above text is an excerpt from the exechange report 11.2024 ($), publication date March 11, 2024.