Scott Sports Replaces its CEO in "Refresh"

Mar 31, 2024
by Ed Spratt  
photo

Scott Sports has replaced Beat Zaugg as its board of directors appoints Juwon Kim as the new CEO.

Bicycle Retailer reports in a move said to "refresh Scott's development to become a world-class manufacturer in bikes and other outdoor sport categories", Scott Sports will now be led by a previous board of directors member Juwon Kim. The new CEO Juwon Kim will be advised by Steve Meineke and Mathias Seidler, who will offer their insights about the bicycle and outdoor gear industry.

Juwon Kim has 17 years of experience in investment banking and was head of growth strategy and mergers and acquisitions at Scott Sports' majority shareholder Youngone Corp. Recently, the Youngone Corp loaned Scott Sports 150 million Swiss francs ($166 million), with 100 million Swiss francs due on Jan 2 2025.

Scott Sports' press release announcing the change in CEO said: "The board of directors of Scott emphasizes that the long-standing commitment of majority shareholder Youngone to Scott remains central and is not called into question."

Kihak Sung, Youngone chairman and a member of Scott's board said: "Youngone has been a strong partner and long-term shareholder of Scott. We firmly believe in Scott, its state-of-the-art products, as well as the dedication and quality of its employees. With this change, Scott will strive to gain growth and market share in the future, leaving behind the current crisis in the industry."

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136 Comments
  • 198 1
 "Juwon Kim has 17 years of experience in investment banking"
Sports company ran by an investment banker. What could possibly go wrong.
  • 57 0
 In the short term they’ll find areas to increase profitability but at the longer term cost of employee and customer satisfaction.
  • 30 1
 It will turn into a clusterf*ck of note…
When bankers or accountants run technical firms, things go down the tubes…
  • 17 0
 The smaller bean counter gets eaten by a larger bean counter. The food chain remains intact.
  • 12 0
 "a move said to "refresh Scott's development to become a world-class manufacturer" so they arent a world class manufactirer but woul now like to become one
  • 11 1
 Pump and dump, my friend. Pump and dump.
  • 2 8
flag gtill9000 (Apr 1, 2024 at 6:20) (Below Threshold)
 It's worth noting that Scott makes a lot more than bikes (and I'd bet bikes aren't even their core focus) so it does make some sense that a board member (who's already familiar with the company) with broader experience makes some sense. CEOs by definition aren't supposed to be experts at any one thing.
  • 6 0
 Aggressively slash expenses, make the financials look good for a year or two so they can sell it.
  • 8 0
 @SchalkMarais: it worked perfectly for Boeing. Don't see the problem.
  • 4 0
 @Mac1987: Indeed… And from the Boeing website: “During his time with the investment firm, he focused on creating and driving added-value initiatives…”

The moment you hear this “driving shareholder values” or similar BS, you know the firm is on a slippery slope…
  • 177 1
 Zaugg got Beat. Kim, Juwon.
  • 126 4
 Will be interesting to see how they integrate the new CEO.
  • 84 3
 good to see instead of hiring outside, they went the internal route
  • 16 1
 Likely with a thorough sanding and some very tight shorts.
  • 56 1
 It'd be a shock if they told you, but they keep it hidden.
  • 18 1
 Zaugg was a genius, but he had no spark.
  • 13 0
 "We believe Mr Kim has his head set in the right direction, and an approach routed in innovation"
  • 29 2
 The new CEO will be working remote.
  • 12 1
 @iiman: internal route via the head board of director set .
  • 2 2
 @silentbutdeadly: could be Danger@home for em...
  • 48 6
 Maybe start by getting rid of putting everything inside the frame like headset cable routing and shocks. I do like the way Scott bikes look, but would never buy one because of that.
  • 38 1
 Juwon Kim is Korean for internal pedals.
  • 4 1
 @rrolly: i read it as ken jeong sorry but i can only see this now tenor.com/y81X.gif
  • 34 0
 Given Kim's background, this is more than a little bit like having a "bank examiner" appointed to a company that is in danger of bankruptcy. Not a great sign. Hope it works out for Scott, the most interesting bikes that I've never owned, for me, anyway..
  • 65 33
 It's amazing the amount of people commenting here with CEO experience who know how bad this guy will fuck this up. Strange that you all run multi million dollar companies so successfully but none of you can afford to pay to watch racing for a few months.
  • 4 2
 Love it! Big Grin
  • 12 9
 Without the keyboard warriors… It wouldn’t be the pinkbike comment section. Lots of users don’t even read the article, they head straight for the comments & let ‘er loose.
  • 28 0
 You must be new here.
  • 32 2
 Ah, the old fallacy: „you are only allowed to criticise if you can do it better“
Reality check: You don’t need to be a chef to criticise a restaurant for serving tasteless food and you don’t need to be an engineer for criticising a bridge for collapsing.
  • 21 1
 Absolutely. Cause all of the CEO's and managers coming from investment background, that ran bike companies in the last 4 years have done such magnificent job, that there is no crisis in the industry, and no companies have gone bankrupt. Where did we even get that idea?
Investment funds and their directors are the reason for all the shitshow that is bike industry now. But they just knew better, that sales were going to rise to the moon, forever.
  • 1 1
 @Ttimer: I agree with you on food, but you do kinda need some engineering knowledge to criticize how a bridge was built. Adding spice to a dish is a lot different than one of the largest ships in the world crashing into a bridge that has been standing for 5 decades, its effectively an act of god sized disaster that isnt accounted for.
  • 2 1
 @jackfunk: I wasn’t thinking about the Baltimore bridge collapse at all. It doesn’t seem like there was any engineering fault involved.
Bridges in general are just an example of things where we can generally tell if they are good or not without being an expert.
  • 2 1
 It’s because it *was* free.. If it was never offered people don’t care, but when it’s taken away, so they do. It’s just human nature.
  • 1 2
 @Ttimer: Bridges seem like one of the worst possible examples of that. As a non engineer I would have idea how to assess the quality of a bridge.
  • 29 2
 Cable tourism causing heads to roll.
  • 2 1
 Beat me to it. lol
  • 3 3
 I have been looking at the Scott Spark. It looks like a great bike, but after more research the cable headset routing kinda scares me. Still considering it though.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: Great minds.
  • 5 1
 @tacklingdummy: headset routing coming out from the dust cover isnt bad but scotts way of through spacers and the stem is a pain the ass.

My merida is via the headset dust cover and its been no harder than a normal routed bike, sometimes easier... only thing thats annoying is when installing a fork... but how often do you really drop the fork....
  • 1 1
 @HeatedRotor: Thanks for the info. I can do without a pain in the ass. Lol.
  • 1 6
flag HeatedRotor FL (Mar 31, 2024 at 23:50) (Below Threshold)
 @tacklingdummy: haha yeah, Headset routing isnt as bad as people make it out to be but Certain brands are what ruins it.. such as scott.
  • 3 0
 @HeatedRotor: pretty regularly, to service it
  • 2 0
 @HeatedRotor: on Scott MTBs at least, the don't run through the stem or the spacers. The spacers unclip open so to be removed/installed without touching the cables
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: I have a Scott Spark RC and it is no problem to work on...and even better to clean. People commenting negatively seem not to have much if any mechanical knowledge or experience.
  • 1 0
 @lesoudeur: How difficult is it to change the cables? Do you need a third arm and truck winch? I kid of course. But although I like internal cabling, replacing cables it is not the most fun, and I don't want to add to that.

The bike is sleek though. How does it climb? I have read that the suspension platform is pretty active, so the lock out is used more than you would think.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: outters are easy regardless of style. put the two ends together an pull old out while it feeds the new one through.......
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: During a ride today I was reflecting how well it climbs...and if I want to stand up and go full gas the lockout is there to stop any irritating bob. When it is fully open it is pretty active but a lot depends on the pressures that you have so you can play around from very plush to firm. Manipulating the cables is made easier because they are Jagwire 3.00mm except the gear housing which is 4.00mm. I use in-line cable adjusters for fine tuning the fork and shock cables' tension as I have replaced the twinlock with the Rockshox Ultimate Twistloc and Shimano XT dropper lever as I prefer that set up. The cables/rear brake hose move with the bar rather than around a hole in the frame. The only pain is that to replace the top headset bearing you will have to disconnect the rear brake but you can sequence the maintenance bleed at the same time so no big deal.
  • 1 0
 @HeatedRotor: Yeah that is how I been doing it for years, but it still can be difficult if there are a lot of sharp turns and the connection can sometimes come loose. Also, if the diameter of the holes are small and the tape used may be bigger than some of the areas to move freely. I used the Rock Shox cable barbs in the past, but they can come loose.a lot. Now I only use strong tape.

How are you connecting the cable housing together? Perhaps your way is better.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: I've only used the RS double barb's, I've only ever had one come loose and it still pulled through luckily.
  • 1 0
 @lesoudeur: Good info. I like the get out of the saddle and hammer on the pedals, so I don't like a lot of bob. I think the Rockshox Ultimate Twistlock is a better solution than the Scott triple lockout levers.Too much conflict with the dropper lever and lockout levers for me and cleans up the bar a lot more. However, I probably would take out the lockout lever system completely if I got a Spark. If it is quite light and has good pedaling geometry, I think I may not need the lockout.

Still undecided right now if I'm buying a new rig or not. The Spark looks really good though.
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: Yep, decisions, decisions lol. If you get a Spark I would give the 3 position suspension system a chance. It is probably no coincidence that the Epic 8 has gone down that route.
  • 14 0
 Should be interesting as the company is an investment firm in The textile industry…not bikes. Granted it seems like there is an outdoor lean to their textiles, and bikes are also about supply chains and cost management, so hopefully this guy gets Scott in better financial footing.
But make no mistake, he’s there to guarantee that loan payment gets made in 9 months. Given the current state of the outdoor market, expect some serious cuts to be announced soon.
  • 7 0
 @Km303 carbon fibre is a textile so it should be all good.
  • 15 0
 When you owe $100 million in less than a year, and then the the lender replaces your CEO with one of their own guys, that’s a very bad sign.
  • 3 0
 WOW, that sounds more like a hostile takeover coup attempt than a happy ever after "hit the refresh button" procedure. Let's hope they figure out a solution before the whole thing goes down in chaos.
  • 13 2
 Just what Scott needs an investment banker running the company ..hey guys how to we make thing cheaper and screw over the customer ? That's how these mfer's think.
  • 3 0
 Any company the size of Scott is already thinking like that.

With any luck it will be "Why aren't people buying our bikes anymore?" and then "You did WHAT?!"
  • 10 1
 Wonder if 17 years in investment experience will lead to a better developed, thought out, long term cable tourism and integration infrastructure…
  • 10 0
 So the majority share holder flexes it’s muscles and installs it’s man as CEO.

Oh well that’s business I guess.
  • 6 0
 Yes, this is exactly what happens when you borrow a bunch of $$$ and it becomes evident that YOUR approach is not tracking to allow for repayment.

It's a tough world out there, sometimes.
  • 2 0
 If you understood the real story in terms of how Beat and an associate ended up with control of the brand it makes more sense.
  • 12 3
 Does anyone own a Scott bike? I can’t remember the last time I actually saw one out in the world.
  • 5 28
flag dmock157 FL (Mar 31, 2024 at 7:29) (Below Threshold)
 I have a 2022 Gambler Tuned. 10300$ badass machine ! They are just too expensive for the masses. Most folks don't buy bicycles for that kinda coin.
  • 5 4
 I owned the new generation of Scott spark for 3 months. Cable routing was awful,bike felt cheap and the whole bike was a rattly mess. Impossible to keep quiet but it did ride nice. Won’t own another Scott.
  • 1 0
 They struggled With the previous gen genius and ransom in carbon as it kept cracking by the shock bolt.

The alloy bikes feel like giants friday afternoon shifts(giant make scotts) and they are just poor quality.
  • 2 1
 @dmock157: they make cheaper bikes. They aren’t great. Neither are their cost-no-object bikes.
  • 4 0
 go to Europe. they are everywhere
  • 2 0
 There used to be heaps of them around here during the previous generation. I still use my previous gen Genius for longer ride days, but even ignoring everything else, the value proposition isn't there with Scott any more so even if they don't go broke, probably the last one I'll own.
  • 3 0
 @boozed: For sure, previous gen Spark was the Toyota Corolla of Australian trails for several years (and rightly so, excellent bike). Scott dealer told me we were one of their strongest markets outside Europe. Current gen doesn't seem to have landed in the same way though.
  • 1 0
 @caltife: I used to joke that the Spark was the official MTB of Canberra, but last year the local dealer split with the brand because demand had cratered. Whoops.
  • 6 1
 I own the new spark. It's everything i wanted in an XC bike and i absolutely love it. It goes down like a trail bike, pedal superbly in intermediate setting. Fit 2 big water bottle for marathon riding. I like that the shock is protected too. The pressfit BB is well made and fitted with a quality BB (i put black bearing dub) it is very smooth and durable. Beware of stock sram dub which are poor.
Contrary to keyboard warrior belief the maintenance is fine. It was second hand and neglected and fitting new bearing +shock maintenance was not complicated. I prefered working on it than on other XC bike because hardware is well thought and not flimsy. With the bottom door routing new cable is easy too. The only complicated job would be upper steering bearing swap obviously but i never had to swap one in the last 25 years.
Things to know :
- I sized up and it's perfect like this to me but it means i had to buy a size S cockpit and have a redundant super expensive size L syncros cockpit. With stock sizing chart i feel it is a bit cramped. Probably works well for Nino that is small and use a huge ass stem with insane drop. On lewer end model stem is not integrated to it's easier to size up.
- I'm mostly certain the chainline on regular drivetrain is compromised to make it work perfectly on sram transmission, on the stock drivetrain the chain was a bit too angled on biggest cog.
- Cable rattles a bit in this huge carbon box. If i cared there are probably solutions.
- Lower steering bearing has a water protector but still water tend to drop on it from cabling and it suffer from it. Swapping is easy tho and there are inox alternatives. But yeah probably storing it wheel up after washing might help.
It's not cheap but when it released there was no really comparable bikes. Mondraker is pretty fine but i'm not a fan of the way the suspension feel under power, alwso no 2 big bottles. Sniper was interesting but full of issues. Epic Evo was bobbing a lot. Either to stiff when locked or inefficient open. Same story for scapel but with a worse shock progression, it was either too stiff or blew threw travel. Plus lefty is a maintenance nightmare. In fact i before i could find a new spark my favourite XC bike was an upgraded 18' spark.
Now the new specialized is a good competitor but that is mostly it.
  • 10 0
 He's still there...he's just hidden in the frame now!
  • 9 0
 Bonus fact-Beat Zaugg was the villain in 1997's The Fifth Element.
  • 4 1
 You mean Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg played by Gary Oldman.
  • 6 2
 One area Scott can improve, is to stop having such a terrible warranty on their bikes. I’ve worked in the industry a while and they have one of the worst warranties of any manufacturer out there. It’s just 2 years on the frame, and another 3 years if you can prove the bike has been serviced yearly by a Scott approved dealer. Any parts they don’t make, they just push you in to the other manufacturer.
There are so many brands out there that go so much further and offer lifetime warranties that actually mean something. Cube, HaiBike and Scott are some of the worst, whereas Specialized, Whyte, Cannondale, Trek, Kona and Giant are much better. My personal bike is a Bird and the warranty is lifetime and transferable. This should be standard for brands.
  • 4 1
 I had to warranty a Spark frame years ago on the third year. There was no questions asked and I even bough it in a different country. I had a new frame in what I would consider the shortest time possible. It was easy and it was great.
  • 4 0
 @warmerdamj: I’m glad you’ve had such a positive experience. Every time I was putting a claim in for a customer, from a Scott dealer, it was always a battle and not often a satisfying result. This was as recently as 6 months ago.
  • 1 0
 @Ozak42: There's likely a lot of factors involved I'm sure, but they aren't always bad I guess.
  • 1 3
 Em 2009 acionei a garantia mediante o primeiro dono (era um Nitrous 10) e foi tranquilo a troca do quadro

Início de 2023 eu consegui a gancheira IDS long para a Gambler 2010 aqui no Brasil por um valor mais em conta que fora do país.

Final de 2023 optei por trocar o chain stay da minha Gambler DH10 2010 e encontrei o mesmo aqui no Brasil na Scott, a loja que intermediou a venda me passou pelo valor de nota fiscal, a peça saiu já com conversão, por 86,00 dólares
  • 2 0
 you lost me at
"Giant are much better".
I guess you missed that topic?
  • 2 0
 Bird bikes ftw! They are literally pinkbikers dream bike in theory except most don't know they exist I'm sure. Complete external routing, good prices, excellent customer service.... what's not to like .... I just wish they made a couple more 27.5 wheeled bikes but the market demands otherwise. At least they make the Aether 7 which is rad!
  • 1 0
 @norcohavocdirtjumper: I’ve had my AM9 since 2018 (second batch made) and I still can’t find a bike I’d want instead. Especially now I’ve put a coil shock on it. Highly recommend them.
  • 2 2
 @juanny: At warranties not at making bikes. Scott and Giant are all made by Giant anyway. Say what you like about Giant bikes, love them or hate them, but are good when it comes to warranty claims. I put several through for customers. They all got sorted and quickly. Even when they didn’t need to.
  • 1 2
 @Ozak42: except when they aren’t. I’ve been burned by Giant, won’t buy another one. 10 years ago their customer support was class-leading. Now it’s a fight to get coverage after 2 years.
  • 1 0
 @Ozak42: giant just went through a fairly major pr exercise based on how shitty their warranty practice is.
Lucky if you're only handling shop serviced bikes but wave a spanner over it at home and giant have had some pretty poor consumer feedback on claim denials.
  • 7 0
 Boeing got investment banker types instead of engineers, how has that been?
  • 29 0
 It blew their doors off.
  • 2 0
 @sportstuff: cotd. high quality lol on this one.
  • 5 1
 Main problems today are logistics, stock piling up, high discounts and cash-flow: no smart bike-designer can solve those problems, so putting a different more financial profile at the head of the firm might by a good idea
  • 7 1
 Ride rider owned, rider staffed, trail builder supporting. Don't toss your cash at the bankers
  • 5 0
 Did anyone else read this title as there was going to be a sick edit called 'Refresh'?
  • 1 0
 Haha yep
  • 2 0
 Scott's owner is looking to get 150 million bucks back that they loaned so they sent that guy in from their team to ensure it happens. If it isn't easy, then it's going to go terribly. If it is, then nothing will change and he'll leave quickly.
  • 2 0
 i wonder if ed scott could have ever dreamed that his tiny little company he started making aluminum ski poles would ever be in a position where a new ceo from korea would be installed to drive this multi million dollar business forward.
  • 5 0
 More levers, and the whole drivetrain inside the frame, wheels too...
  • 3 0
 Never like to see a sports company headed by an investment banker… nothing says we care less about what we’re doing and more about making money than that.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, but you can't just keep losing money indefinitely.
  • 3 0
 I just appreciate how the title to this article is in “so and so rides something in ‘bike film’” pinkbike format.

Intentional or not, it’s still good.
  • 4 0
 Anytime a finance person takes over a company making technical products, the outcome is bad. Ask Boeing……..
  • 2 0
 Continuing to hire Non bike industry Top dogs.......... I understand from a business point of view but The Bike market is feeling the hurt and really needs someone who actually knows the market lol.
  • 3 0
 Sounds like they're replacing the Captain of the Titanic with the CEO of the White Star Line, AFTER it's hit the iceberg of undesirable design. Good luck with that!
  • 1 0
 When the new Scotts came out I wanted one. But in the US, you couldn’t even order one, and there were so hard to find, people were flying across the country to get one. I gave up and got another brand. I’m happy as can be, but Scott screwed the pooch with their North American market.
  • 2 0
 crazy how a company that was founded in america and used to go by the name "scott usa" could just tank their sales in the american market.
  • 1 0
 Beat Zaugg is purchasing a majority stake of Swiss Bike Manufacturer Transalpes (www.transalpes.ch) an will lead the company as CEO. Details on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7180655106554556417
  • 2 0
 are they anything more than an adapted open mold frame?
  • 1 0
 "Transalpes ist die Schweizer Bike Manufaktur. In Handarbeit werden in Baar Bikes aufgebaut - mit den Lieblingsteilen von Bikerinnen und Bikern. Seit 20 Jahren entwickelt Transalpes die vielleicht besten Mountainbikes "

The claim is painful to read.
  • 2 0
 @cashew: so just Chinese catalogue pivot hardware then Wink
  • 3 0
 Board: "Sales are down, Maybe you shouldn't have put literally every part inside the frame?:
CEO: Duuuuurrrrrrr
  • 2 0
 So the mother company sent couple of wagons of cash into Scott. No, mother company sends their guy to watch over those wagons.
  • 3 0
 Was expecting a corporate shredit based on headline formatting. Much disappoint.
  • 7 5
 Maybe start with a lifetime warranty on bikes like everyone else. 5 years is a joke
  • 5 9
flag hardtail29errba (Mar 31, 2024 at 5:41) (Below Threshold)
 Majority of mtb riders don't keep a bike or frame for five years. So that warranty is not that important.
  • 8 4
 Amm you should read the warranty terms again, lifetime warranty in meant for lifetime of the bike (which is a set number years, usually 5) and not your lifetime... nobody will replace your broken frame after 20years, not even 10.
  • 4 2
 @winko: Spesh does, at least to me lol
  • 4 1
 @AgustinFlores: Yup. My dealings with Speech have been insanely good. They have always done more than I expected. Sometimes by a lot.
  • 6 0
 @winko: Trek does.
  • 3 0
 @winko: santa cruz does
  • 1 1
 Hopefully the new guy looks down at the handlebars and asks, "why so many cables and what the hell is this extra set of buttons for?".
  • 3 1
 The new investment banker CEO has likely never put a tire to dirt in his life
  • 1 0
 OK, what matters most to me, is whether or not Nino will keep getting paid??!!
  • 2 0
 Hopefully he will finally get rid of twin cock
  • 2 1
 Unfortunately they also had to bleed the brakes on all their bikes while replacing the CEO.
  • 2 0
 Top news.
  • 2 2
 They are in real trouble, the fully integrated strategy was a huge mistake.
  • 2 2
 Scott is going down. It's all down to their pricing politics. Good riddance.
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