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2000 FIN - Hirsch Succeeds Sights as Textron Fastening President; Rayburn Leaves Fasteners for Baseball

Andy Rayburn

August 9, 2000 FIN - Textron Inc. named its fastener president, Jack Sights, as the new CEO of Textron Automotive Co. and Joachim Hirsch to replace Sights at Textron Fastening Systems.

Andy Rayburn, president of Textron Fastening System's Supply Chain Solutions Group, left July 31 upon acquiring a minor league baseball team.
Rayburn became president when Textron purchased Streetsboro, OH-based Flexalloy Inc. in April 1999. Rayburn had been president of Flexalloy since 1981.
Rayburn purchased the Daytona Cubs, a Class A Minor League baseball team, and will head an investment group, Big Game Capital.

Textron announced it would consolidate its Commercial and Supply Chain Groups. The two groups' revenues exceed $900 million.
William Barker will head the combined groups.
Barker, 50, was president of the automotive safety products division of propellant-actuated device supplier OEA. The commercial solutions group supplies fasteners and vendor-managed inventory in 25 countries.

Sights, 53, replaced Sam Licavoli, who was named CEO of the industrial products unit.

"Jake" Hirsch, 48, joined Textron in 1999 as CEO of Germany-based Kautex Textron, a $900 million unit of Textron Automotive. Kautex manufactures fuel systems, plastic fuel tanks and blow-molded functional components and has 4,000 employees.
Prior to joining Textron, Hirsch was COO of Magna Europe AG, where he was responsible for the automotive company's $3 billion operation, with more than 16,000 employees at 66 facilities in 10 countries.

Sights and Hirsch will report to Textron president and COO John Janitz.
"Both Jack and Jake bring extensive operating and management skills in the manufacturing industry to their new positions," Textron CEO Lewis Campbell told FIN. "Jack's background in the automotive industry, combined with his focus on growth and cost reduction, make him a perfect leader to continue the success at Textron Automotive Company. Jake's strong focus on operational improvements and his extensive international experience will continue the work Jack began at Fastening Systems in improving operating margin and organic growth."

Textron Fastening's quarter-to-quarter operating margins improved, and its presence in the telecommunications and electronics markets improved during Sight's tenure.
Textron Fastening, which supplies engineered fasteners, assemblies and inventory management, has had double-digit growth through acquisitions and organic growth. There are 16,000 fastening employees in 18 countries.
Troy, MI-based Textron Fastening has sales of $2.3 billion. Providence, RI-based Textron is an $11.6 billion multi-industry company with 68,000 employees in 30 countries. ©2000/2009 Fastener Industry News

Scroll down for Rayburn's Baseball Plans

Rayburn to Play Ball

August 9, 2000 FIN - Andy Rayburn succeeded in the fastener business and is now chasing a new dream: Owning a baseball team.
His field of dreams is the Jackie Robinson Ballpark where the Daytona Cubs play.

In his first year competing in the National Fastener Distributors Association golf tournament, Rayburn had a chance. On the 18th hole in the spring of 1980 he plugged, and his ball disappeared. Rayburn penalized himself two strokes and ended up losing by only one.

His father, who founded Flexalloy Inc. in 1967 and was one of the co-founders of the NFDA, donated the cup in 1974. James Rayburn died in 1981 and, at the suggestion of then tournament chairman Dick Mayoh, the trophy was named the Rayburn Cup.

Rayburn's dream became a possibility when he sold Flexalloy to Textron Inc. in April 1999 for $185 million.
At first Rayburn was "looking around casually" for a baseball team to fulfill his dream, and this spring the Daytona Cubs went up for sale and Rayburn got serious.

Why baseball? "I'm an American," Rayburn told FIN. "It is my right as an American."

How many fasteners are in a baseball?
"Baseballs are fastened with an ancient technique using thread applied with a needle," Rayburn quipped.
Threads, but not threaded rods.

As he was cleaning out his Textron office, Rayburn said the biggest change during his fastener career was the "shift to single-source JIT programs, with distribution companies being the beneficiary."
Flexalloy's vendor managed inventory system was what interested Textron in buying the Streetsboro, OH-based distributorship last year.

Rayburn said changing from a family business to a publicly held corporate structure meant different reporting requirements, sudden access to globalization and tremendous financial strength.
He told FIN the adjustment is not difficult "once you make the commitment."

He is leaving on schedule, Rayburn said.
"I think it was clear in April 1999 when I sold Flexalloy that the transition was a one- to two-year process. Things are on track and should be completed this year."

After 16 months with Textron Fastening Systems, Rayburn predicts the industry will see more globalization and consolidation in the next five years.

Rayburn started in the industry as a youngster sweeping floors at his father's business. He became CEO at age 26 upon his father's death from leukemia.
Fasteners are "the only industry I really know. I don't have an accurate point of comparison, but the fraternal and family nature of the industry is the part I'll miss the most," Rayburn reflected.

Rayburn officially takes over the Daytona Cubs at the end of the current season in September. He has already sent a general-manager-in-waiting down to Daytona to begin the transition.
Rayburn's success will, in part, be measured in the won/lost record of the Daytona Cubs instead of the Textron stock price or on-time delivery of fasteners to OEM customers.
The team won the 1995 Florida State League Championship. At midseason this year Daytona was in fourth place in the six-team league.
Rayburn's team performance can be monitored on the Internet at minorleaguebaseball.com/standings.
Rayburn's plans primarily call for pumping up the marketing of the team. He will emphasize baseball as "a kid-oriented environment."
With three children ages 6, 6 and 8, Rayburn said he is "biased toward kids" in marketing his baseball team.

Daytona is new to Rayburn too. The Atlantic coast town 292 miles from the spring 2001 NFDA meeting in Naples, FL, is well known for the July 4 Daytona 500, Bike Week in February and college spring break.
Though Rayburn will spend some time in Daytona, he will remain based in the Cleveland area.
©2000/2009 Fastener Industry News.
For information on permission to reuse or reprint this article please e-mail: FIN@GlobalFastenerNews.com


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