Superior Industries races time in naming up coming CEO

Time is ticking on aluminum wheel supplier Superior Industries Worldwide Inc. as it searches for its up coming CEO.

Steven Borick, the Van Nuys, Calif., company’s CEO considering that January 2005 and son of its founder, Louis Borick, announced in October that he will retire March 31. With about 2 weeks just before Borick’s exit, the supplier nonetheless hasn’t announced a decision.

Borick mentioned during an earnings contact final week that interviews had been ongoing and that “we’re going to proceed to move quite rapidly.” Borick, who has been on Superior’s board for 33 years, explained he will stay on it after retirement for the “immediate potential.” But he mentioned he will leave the CEO work even if a substitute is not named before his departure.

Hunting for a CEO is usually a lengthy endeavor that entails generating a profile of the perfect candidate, developing a record of potential suitors, rounds of interviews and firm board deliberations, mentioned Mark Angott, president of Angott Search Group in suburban Detroit. The firm has worked with automakers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers.

Headhunters say CEO searches get 4 to 8 months on average, with 4 becoming exceptionally rapidly.

Occasionally, the process can hit a speed bump for public businesses this kind of as Superior if there’s a split among board members on who the best candidates are, an situation Microsoft faced during its CEO search, explained Patrick Gray, spouse of search consultancy NorthWind Partners.

“The far more folks involved in striving to come up with a template or paradigm to decide who that is going to be, or what that person’s background is going to be, is going to make that approach that considerably longer,” extra Jack Youthful, president of automotive search firm Jack Youthful Personnel Providers Inc.

The customer listing for Superior, 1 of the largest manufacturers of aluminum wheels in North America, involves Ford Motor Co., Basic Motors, Chrysler Group, BMW Group, Toyota Division and Tesla Motors.

Superior ranks No. 66 on Automotive Information’ listing of the leading 100 elements suppliers to North America with an estimated $ 822 million in product sales to automakers in its 2012 fiscal 12 months.

Louis Borick founded Superior in 1957 as a maker of bug deflectors, overload springs and wheels. Superior received its big break in 1972 when it became the wheel supplier for the Ford Mustang, its first automobile contract.

Brian Sponheimer, an auto supplier analyst at Gabelli & Co., said there’s nothing unusual about Superior’s search timeline as March 31 nears. It is just operating in a deliberate vogue, he stated. “What they’re going to want is an individual who has a sturdy vision for what the firm is going to seem like 5 years down the road,” he explained. “I believe the company has a quite powerful balance sheet and a good deal of flexibility for a new CEO to be imaginative.”

You can attain Vince Bond Jr. at vbond@crain.com. — Comply with Vince on
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