Bass Pro Shops hired a new president for its marine manufacturing division.
Les Crawford, a former executive of the Springfield-based outdoor retailer, was chosen to lead White River Marine Group, formerly known as Tracker Marine Group, according to a news release and Missouri secretary of state filings. Tracker Marine Group became White River Marine Group after the company bought Fishing Holdings LLC in 2015, said Bass Pro spokesman Jack Wlezien. The umbrella company’s name was unveiled in early 2016.
Crawford is taking over the boating operations from Bass Pro President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Hagale. In 2009, Hagale started leading the division after longtime President Ken Burroughs left amid downsizing, according to Springfield Business Journal archives
. Hagale now will focus on the company’s retail division and its proposed acquisition of Cabela’s expected to be completed in the third quarter.
Crawford most recently served as president for Lebanon-based Lowe Boats. He worked 1984-94 as controller for Bass Pro and vice president for Tracker Marine, according to the release.
“In addition to his familiarity with our brands and widespread respect within the industry, Les understands how vitally important the independent dealers are to the future of these brands and our company overall, making him uniquely qualified to lead White River Marine Group,” Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris said in the release.
White River Marine Group’s brands include Tracker Boats, Sun Tracker, Ranger and Triton.