Winnebago Industries Inc. today (April 4) announced that it has appointed Bryan Hughes as chief financial officer, effective May 15. According to a press release, Hughes will report to President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Happe and will be based in the company’s Eden Prairie, Minn., office.
Hughes succeeds Sarah Nielsen, who will remain with the company in Forest City, Iowa, to assist with a smooth transition.
Hughes joins Winnebago after more than 25 years in financial leadership roles, including the past 20 years at Ecolab Inc. where he held multiple roles with increasing responsibility at the business unit and corporate levels throughout his tenure. Ecolab is a leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services with 2016 net sales in excess of $13 billion,
Most recently, Hughes was the senior vice president and corporate controller, where he had global responsibility for the financial reporting and analysis, planning, forecasting, accounting and internal audit functions. He was previously Ecolab’s vice president of finance for the company’s global institutional business. Hughes began his career as a CPA with Ernst & Young and joined Ecolab in 1996.
Hughes received a bachelor’s in business and accounting from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and a master’s in Business administration from the University of Michigan.
Happe commented, “Bryan brings an exceptional track record of public company leadership as well as strategic and financial expertise that will further enhance our leadership team as we continue to transform Winnebago Industries into a premier outdoor lifestyle company. We are excited to welcome Bryan to our team as we build upon the strong foundation we have in place to enable Winnebago to compete effectively across the entire RV market. We look forward to benefiting from Bryan’s experience and strategic guidance as we work to take Winnebago to new levels of growth and profitability and deliver shareholder value going forward.”
Happe continued, “I also want to thank Sarah Nielsen for her many contributions to Winnebago Industries since joining the company more than a decade ago. Sarah has been an excellent ambassador for our brand and certainly instrumental in Winnebago’s operations, including her critical role in helping the company navigate a significant economic and industry recession. We are grateful that Sarah has agreed to help facilitate a seamless transition process for a short period after Bryan arrives.”
Hughes commented, “This is an exciting time to be joining the Winnebago team, and I am honored to become part of the company’s rich, proud history and very strong brand. I look forward to contributing to the future growth of the company and to bringing my passion and varied experiences to the CFO role to help guide Winnebago in its evolution as a stronger, more profitable enterprise. I am excited to work with the entire team as we strive to deliver disciplined growth and value creation for our customers and shareholders.