Withers joined Jacobsen in the UK in 1992 as a regional sales manager, rising through a number of increasingly senior roles within the organisation until becoming managing director of Ransomes Jacobsen (the Ipswich UK based subsidiary of Jacobsen)bin 2004. Withers became Ransomes Jacobsen president/chief executive based in Charlotte, USA in 2011.
Earlier this year Textron announced the merger of Jacobsen with Textron Specialized Vehicles. This included moving all activities out of Charlotte and into Augusta.
Withers said: "As such my role would have moved to Augusta and I decided that this was not something that I wanted to do and felt that the timing was right for us to start looking at moving back to the UK. I also think that the merger of the two brands will work better if it is truly integrated and I think that integration will be easier and more complete without there being an incumbent president of Jacobsen in the mix.
"As regards the future as yet I have no plans, it has been a busy time planning the integration and all my thoughts and energy have been on working to ensure a smooth transition where our customers are only impacted positively. Once I actually leave Jacobsen at the end of the year (2016) I will start to look at what opportunities there are and decide what we want to do next. I am hopeful that I can stay in this industry as I have so many friends and relationships that it would seem sad not to continue to build them in the future albeit with another company.
"Thinking about the future of Jacobsen in its new home I think there will be opportunities to build on what we have achieved these last years and also to leverage the two brands together to win more business. What I mean by that is there will be the ability to leverage the EZGO and Jacobsen brands into the customer base. If a golf course or group are purchasing a lot of Jacobsen equipment but also a golf buggy fleet competitive to EZGO, then maybe in the future it will make sense to buy it all from one company and get additional advantages due to the increased volume of business going to one vendor."
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