SRAM CEO Stan Day Steps Down After 31 Years

Jan 9, 2019
by Richard Cunningham  
Stan Day SRAM co-founder and CEO for 31 years
Stan Day SRAM photo

Stan Day, SRAM co-founder and a major shareholder, has decided to step down as CEO after 31 years of leadership - a wild ride that saw the Chicago based manufacture begin life with a single product - a molded-plastic twist-shifter for road bikes - then grow into a multinational corporation with over three thousand employees and become a major force in today's cycling industry.
SRAM image
SRAM's portfolio of cycling brands

SRAM has announced that Ken Lousberg had been appointed as his successor beginning January first this year, and Stan Day will remain as the Chairman of the Board. Day says the transition of leadership will be seamless, and that we shouldn't expect any big changes in the near future. Reportedly, SRAM is a privately owned corporation, with most of its shares owned by the Day family and the company founders, who's initials were used to create the now famous SRAM acronym.

bigquotesIt’s been a thrilling ride. When we started we wanted to create and manufacture components that inspired cyclists. We began by making road Grip Shift that didn’t sell very well, and then a mountain bike Grip Shift that took the market by storm. From six people in a dusty factory to over 3,000 global team members offering leading drivetrain, brake, and suspension systems.

I am super pleased that Ken has joined the company. It is clear to me that he has the skillsets and experience base to help lead us to the next level. SRAM will continue to be a private company owned by the Day Family and the management team. It will continue to focus its innovation and business within the bike industry.
Stan Day


The announcement was made internally in October. Day and Lousberg met with employees at all of SRAM’s facilities to ensure a “firm hand-off of leadership,” Day said.

About the New CEO

Ken Lousberg graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and received his MBA from the University of Colorado. He has served in numerous senior executive roles. Before his move to SRAM Lousberg served as the president of Terex Cranes and Utilities, which represented over USD 2 billion in revenue and more than 5,000 employees.
Ken Lousberg SRAM s new CEO as of January 1 2109
Ken Lousberg SRAM photo
bigquotesStepping into the role of CEO is exciting. I feel honored to be asked to lead such a great team, in such a great industry. Stan and the leadership team have provided a great platform to continue SRAM’s arc of growth and we will continue to focus on our customer’s needs, leading product innovation, and maintaining our commitment to our global team and partners.Ken Lousberg


Why step down after 31 years of success? Well that is the (multi) million dollar question which has yet to be officially answered. Under Day's leadership, SRAM achieved enviable growth and provided a model for international cycling businesses that demonstrated that a conglomeration approach to building a multinational manufacturing and marketing corporation could be run successfully as a unified work force with a sense of humanity that reached beyond the bottom line. We've reached out to Stan, Ken, and others to understand what this means for the future of SRAM. More as we have it.



MENTIONS: @SramMedia


156 Comments

  • + 261
 Who will guide the company now? Is there a dress code? I'm avid to know...
  • + 4
 Hold this W
  • + 4
 I guess it was just his day.
  • + 194
 He finally get the chance to ride a FOX/Shimano setup.
  • + 4
 @chyu: lol Hold this W as well
  • + 42
 31 years in charge and looks less creaky than a 6 month old Pike!
  • + 3
 @chyu: ZING! I can hear the SRAM fanboys getting their pitchforks and lanterns out off the closets....here...they...come
  • - 18
flag karoliusz (Jan 9, 2019 at 12:09) (Below Threshold)
 It’s a kind of shox, but the new monarch will make some juicy changes, which will be like a magical elixir to the ol’ stylo of the company. He will make SRAM vivid again!
  • + 10
 I just hope the level of quality doesn't go down.
  • + 119
 @privateer-wbc: 30.99 years. It's just better. Because engineering.
  • + 12
 He finally realized that Sram can't make a reliable Brake.
  • + 8
 Stan became a Shimano convert.........I think it was the 51 tooth XTR cassette that did it. Wink
  • + 2
 @rivercitycycles: he’d be like: I told you to go 13speed with 10-54 and a new wider freehub body standard, 13x154 rear axle, and what is Shimano doing? Trumping Eagle with one tooth! And on top of that they patent a new freehub.

I quit!
  • + 3
 @Bflutz625: it couldn't possibly
  • + 5
 I hope SRAM doesn't lose grip on this shift. I hope Ken didn't Force Stan out as an Avid Rival
  • + 1
 @fruitsd79: ;-) a good one
  • - 14
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 9, 2019 at 13:57) (Below Threshold)
 Duncan Rifle for the president!
  • + 2
 New SRAM guy is wearing the same shirt as new USAC guy. Coincidence???
  • + 1
 Gwin for CEO!
  • + 75
 31 years? He looks like he is 41 years old....
  • - 128
flag komodo1 (Jan 9, 2019 at 11:31) (Below Threshold)
 31 years as CEO. Not a 31 year old dude.
  • + 48
 haha i came here to post "was he 10 when he started?!?!"
  • + 6
 He's 59...he has been a CEO for 31
  • + 45
 Dude's pushing 60, hope I look that sharp at 59.
  • - 14
flag headshot (Jan 9, 2019 at 12:55) (Below Threshold)
 That pic was taken when he started, dummies.
  • + 10
 @headshot: actually, it was taken in 2010, on August 1st, and approximately 6:37 (am or pm, I can't be sure). Says so right in the photo details.
  • + 8
 he must eat eagle eggs
  • + 0
 @headshot: I'm also willing to bet the date is accurate. People who buy Phase One cameras which cost in the tens of thousands (~50k-ish?) tend to be professional, and require dates as such for workflow and tracking purposes.
  • + 1
 I mean, he looks good for whatever age he is to have 31 years of experience. But I feel bad for you if that's what 41 looks like where you live.
  • + 0
 @alexsin: the picture is over 8 years old...back when the dude was 51ish...and he has twenty some odd years experience.
  • + 1
 @privateer-wbc: you guys take everything so literally... sense of humour failure 101
  • + 1
 @headshot: try and make you jokes funnier next time so I know when to laugh Wink

I'm just yanking your chain. I actually was probably the only person to give you positive props Razz
  • + 1
 @dtax: those eagle stories are a lie dtax, a lie!!! They give you no eagle powers!!
  • - 1
 @headshot: I blame Field test tm
  • + 0
 @headshot: Not sure the reason for all the downvotes. The point is he doesn't look 59 in the pic because he isn't, it's an old photo. Maybe people don't like being told that they made some dumbass assumptions.
  • + 2
 @headshot: Is Sense of Humour Failure 101 actually a course?
  • + 1
 @rrolly: ask some of the other guys. They seem to have gained a distinction ...
  • + 64
 Wowwwww! Stan was a good guy to work for, spent 1.5 years in SRAM HQ and saw a very generous person even when managing a gigantic and still growing company that wasn't without its struggles.
  • - 14
flag Ride406orDie (Jan 9, 2019 at 20:47) (Below Threshold)
 Well as an avid mountainbiker I hope this new guy can continue to guide them in a super deluxe direction.
  • + 30
 "Why step down after 31 years of success?" Why not? Life is not all about work and success. Maybe he wants to ride his bike more!
  • + 5
 DOLLA DOLLA BILLS YO!
  • + 1
 There’s more to more than this than this. The plain of enlightenment is just a thin membrane stretched over the void.
  • + 29
 Enviable life and position to hand over the baton while obviously still in good physical condition. There is more to life than work...especially when you've already made millions. Enjoy.
  • + 27
 31 years or 30.99?
  • + 2
 I lol'd
  • + 5
 Lol! This comment deserves better.
  • + 24
 Why the hatred? Their suspension work great (at least my lyric does), and their drivetrains are good too!
  • + 4
 @Aprilfisheye you must be new here. Anything Sram is overpriced junk. Shimano and Fox are the best no matter what.
  • + 12
 @sunringlerider: I agree. The fanboys here would buy rocks if shimano called them brakes.
  • + 1
 @sunringlerider: A little too far with the best. Maybe the best quality and performance for your money. The market now has better niche products...they may not be as safe or reliable, but in some cases they perform better.
  • + 5
 You obviously never had SRAM brakes have you ?
  • - 1
 Between my girlfriend and I, we have had 5 Pike's in our assortment of bikes in the last 4 years. 4 were warrantied for creaky CSU's within their first year of usage, and one for a leaky damper (top side) after the first ride.

My girlfriend also has a Revaluation on her hardtail, as well as sram level brakes. 3rd or 4th ride out on the bike was a fairly warm day, and the fork air Spring blew, AND one of her brakes also did that thing where they pump up and then the lever doesn't work. Both, same ride at Camp Fortune. We were lucky she wasn't seriously hurt, and it totally ruined our trip. The SRAM distributior here wouldn't take two brakes back and do them both, of course. So a few rides later the other brake goes and another warranty job! Great product and service! The bike spent half the summer in warranty - thanks SRAM!

I have also had tons of issues with elixr brakes in the past. Gushing levers and turkey gobble in many Avid and SRAM brakes. Also has a leaky damper cart in a pretty fresh Totem.

Pretty sure I could go on...but I won't.

#anythingbutsram
  • + 8
 @privateer-wbc: Good gawd man, why did you keep buying their product?
  • + 1
 @petrospit: I actually did. Some are terrible, some work great.
  • + 6
 @privateer-wbc: ok, your girlfriend has a lot of experience getting bounced up and down, we get it.
  • - 1
 @sunringlerider: really isn’t true is it? I’m guessing your just one of those people who just stick to what you know and don’t know how far behind shimano have fallen over the last three or four years. Shimano makes cheep junk these days.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: are you new to Pinkbike also? Sarcasm sensors must be broke
  • + 20
 Awesome and inspiring story no doubt. Congrats on the retirement, Stan. See you on the trails.
  • + 16
 How do I know he didn't work 30.99 years? 31 years is such a specific number
  • + 9
 Please ask Ken if he intends to guide SRAM towards introducing more new, exciting, unsupported, non-reverse compatible standards! And if so what exciting marketing is behind it? is As he must know consumers like surprises and variety

EDIT - Congratulations to Stan Day for his work. It can be hard for founders to walk away from their "baby". All sarcasm aside, SRAM has grown by leaps and bounds. 31 years is a long time
  • - 6
flag PocoBoho (Jan 9, 2019 at 12:07) (Below Threshold)
 @leelau - ha. Fun story on this topic....is everyone aware that WITHIN the front BOOST standard there is a SRAM specific standard? Going from a SRAM BOOST hub to a Fox Fork does not work. Need mOar parts to be removed and replaced....FML.
  • + 7
 @PocoBoho: ...are you referring to a torque cap hub?
  • + 3
 @PocoBoho: Not sure I follow.. I can take my front wheel from my lyric to my fox 36 without swapping anything...
  • + 7
 Pretty easy... he left because he's made a stupid huge amount of money. Holds a stupid huge amount of stocks. And he got a fat bonus. AKA.... he's paid. And he probably felt like he couldn't do much more with the company. People like him often times need a new challenge. Start up a new company or join a smaller one. Help it become something big. But if it was me... I'd take all that money and spend the next 50 years chilling. Make a couple hundred grand here and there as a high paid consultant.
  • + 1
 probably not making it to 109! lol
  • + 5
 @conoat: People in his income bracket can do amazing things so who knows. My income bracket... be lucky to make it to retirement. LOL!
  • + 3
 He should start a gearbox company
  • + 6
 Respect. Good for you Stan Day. You and your team have revolutionized the sport of mountain biking. I am grateful for the competition you have created that has resulted in us consumers getting such high quality components. Reflecting on just the past 15 years, the innovations and increased quality are mind blowing!
  • + 7
 Still remember meeting Stan, FK and Mike when they had a single product (Grip shift). Together they brought that company on an amazing journey and have left the industry and cycling a better place for it.
  • + 6
 Why step down? Why keep working with fat stock shares is the better question.

Good for him, built a strong company. Now if only they would bring the last generation, better, stronger, more reliable Code brakes back...cough cough new codes blow in comparison cough cough.
  • + 2
 Really? Just about every brake test article I've read in the past year has crowned the Code RSC as the best brake out there.
  • + 4
 Good Lord, went through five different Guide warranty changeouts on a new bike over a four month period and was then reluctantly convinced to try Magura MT Sports. Just phenomenal for over a year now.

Hopefully Lousberg, as a ME, grabs a set of Maguras or Shimanos to tear down and learn a few things. There’s nothing like ripping down a nice steep technical section wondering if you’re going get stopped at the bottom.
  • + 8
 Is the new boss a cyclist?
  • - 19
flag aarontherider (Jan 9, 2019 at 13:38) (Below Threshold)
 Any self-respecting rider has a Strava profile. I couldn't find one for Mr. Lousberg. Connecting the dots...
  • + 7
 @aarontherider: one could argue any self-respecting rider would have been on pinkbike before 2016. Lots of people don’t use strava that’s not much of a measure.
  • + 2
 @loganflores: I think it was meant as a joke..
  • + 1
 @gnarnaimo: I figured as was I but just in case gotta keep strava in check.
  • + 1
 @aarontherider: I have a playlist. Does that count for self-respect?
  • + 6
 Stan Day..you should be proud of yourself!!! Congrats and have a great retirement!
  • + 7
 Wonder if he is stepping down so he can ride the new XTR?
  • - 2
 Probably
  • + 6
 the company founders, who's initials were used to create the now famous SRAM acronym.

So is it KRAM now?
  • + 1
 What does it stand for? I didn’t know it was an acronym
  • + 1
 @bike2850: Supreme Rulers of All Mountainbiking
  • + 2
 KRAM means CRAP in slovak language Smile
  • + 2
 @bike2850: SRAM is an acronym comprising the names of its founders, Scott, Ray, and Sam, (where Ray is the middle name of company head Stan Day).
  • + 1
 @Demoguy: thanks
  • + 2
 So that makes it SKAM now
  • + 1
 @sebazzo: No because Ken isn't a founder.
  • + 5
 Seriously 10/10 for innovation, they've had some fantastic ideas. Maybe 5/10 for implementation!
  • + 4
 they are the new crank brothers Wink
  • + 5
 I have a pair of the OG grip shift for road bikes NIB if anyones interested..
  • + 2
 The Sram hatred makes no sense. Sure Avid brakes had many flaws apparently, mine never did, but unless you work in a shop I suggest you shut up... We warranty WAY more Shimano than Sram by a large margin. Both companies here are good to deal with, Shimano slightly easier but Sram is OK. EVERY company has products that fail, and even whole lines that suck. Just because some Sram products you once owned sucked doesn't mean the whole company does.
  • + 5
 In the last couple of years, I've made two trips to the shop to have Avid brakes warranty-replaced, two trips to replace two failed RockShox Reverbs (one of which failed after one ride), and have blown out my fair share of RockShox forks. Meanwhile, I've never had any issues with Fox and Shimano products over decades of riding. Does the SRAM as a company suck? They brought to the mainstream what was in my opinion one of the greatest contributions to bike technology (the 1x11 drivetrain), so no. Have they manufactured a lot of sh*tty products that have caused me no end of aggravation? Yes, so I will not be shutting up.
  • + 4
 I think it has more to do with the culture of each company. Shimano produces products that you need. SRAM comes up with stuff they think you need. If Trek goes to SRAM and Shimano and says "We want a new hub standard and a new BB standard"

Shimano says "Why, you don't need that, the gains are negligible"
SRAM says "Sure, whatever you want, we can call it stiffer and make more money"

SRAM seems to be driven by marketing and engage in a lot of planned obsolescence and the engineers do what they are told where Shimano Engineers spend more time being engineers and solving problems we actually have.
  • + 1
 @jcav5: that's right... Shimano make the front mech which we surely do need.... Oh, oh, and electronic gears..

Sram make brakes, droppers (first to actually work, now surpassed), suspension, 1x12 gears.

Yup your right, shimo we need. SRAM makes only stuff THEY think we need... Nailed it.
  • + 1
 @brainbckt: Every Fox fork comes with loose bushing the feels like a loose headset. I hate that, unsolvable. Servicing is more PITA too. Reverb sucks, admitted, but for several years or more it was the ONLY functional dropper post. And easily serviced unlike most throw away cartridges.

Forks? Probably something our ping wrong.
  • + 1
 @clarky78: SRAM couldn't make a front mech that worked even close to as well as the shimano stuff so they pushed the market away from it. I'm not saying that either company is 100% bad or 100% good, I am just saying that from an overall philosophy standpoint, Shimano doesn't produce new stuff for the sake of it (for example, DUB, why invent ANOTHER standard when the 73mm bb was fine). I will rephrase what I said in my previous comment. Shimano products are driven on what the market needs, less about what the Trek wants to sell you.

If it were up to Shimano, we would still be using the same 73mm threaded bb we used to use.
  • + 0
 @jcav5: shimano have a that will do attitude to products though. Nothing they make really works that well or anywhere as near as well as sram stuff works.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: What are you talking about? What sort of evidence do you have that SRAM products as a whole, work better than Shimano products? You can certainly like the way their shifting or braking feels, but that is based on preference. I personally do not like the way my 11 spd XT shifts, the SRAM 11 speed shifts much better.... but my 10 speed XTR shifts better than anything I've ever ridden, is still running strong almost 10 years later, and I don't remember the last time Shimano had a massive brake recall...
  • + 0
 @jcav5: it’s not based on preference ones clearly better than the other. SRAM shifts way better. You can change gear mid corner with sram knowing when you go to pedal out of it it will shift smoothly try that with shimano and you’l get your foot thrown of the pedal as it clunks into the gear that’s if you managed to find the cheap plastic thumb shifter fast enough.

Shimano might not have had a recall but they probably should. I’ve had 3 different pairs off shimano brakes fail this year (4 xt’s 2 slx) And when they wasn’t broken they didn’t work particularly well. I’ve bled my two and a half year old guides twice and they work way better.
  • + 2
 I always find it funny when people ask "why step down now?"......and even more funny when it's been 31 years. Gee, I don't know, maybe to pursue other passions, spend time with family, or any host of a million other thing that don't involve the corporate life. Dude looks great and I wish him all the best!
  • + 1
 Im glad SRAM existed, made a lot of good products, forced other products to get better and made many of my rides damn fun. Mechanical things break and some new products just have issues (CC Inline) that burned a lot of folks. BUT, in general they mostly took care of things, in fact bike parts were generally better than any other consumer product I''ve owned. My guess is a corporate industrial guy (Lousberg) is going to cut warranties altogether or do a 6 month manf defect only spin. Careful what you wish for....
  • + 3
 We have multiple terex cranes. Hopefully SRAM’s reliability doesn’t mirror terex reliability moving forward..
  • + 2
 If it’s anything like the reliability of Terex bucket trucks....SRAM is in trouble
  • + 2
 @MillerReid:

This. The company I worked at had Altec and Terex arial lifts. The Terex booms and control units always felt sketchy, and failed regularly.

Lots of time and money wasted trying to clean hydraulic fluid off customer's driveways...

Should really help Avid brakes...
  • + 4
 He decided to make the leap.
  • + 2
 Honestly, I'm surprised that with the portfolio that Sram has, that they or Truvativ haven't made their own pedals yet, considering how successful Shimano are with theirs.
  • + 3
 Funny, their CEO is the one thing they didn't pointlessly change every single year.
  • + 3
 Thanks to the Grip Shift my mom at 71 would not still be riding her mountain bike due to arthritis. Thank you sir!!!!
  • + 2
 Maybe he will decide to increase the costs of manufacturing by $0.25 to make the parts out of a better alloy.
  • + 3
 I imagine that, with his background in cranes, we will see some absolutely bomb proof products.
  • + 1
 I hope for his retirement gift he got one of those nifty plastic watches that they gave customers effected by the first generation road disc brake recall/debacle.
  • + 1
 Road bikers deserve shit brakes. They could have had disk brakes 20 years ago but they all turned their noses up at them and stuck to rim brakes. They made there bed now they can sleep in it.
  • + 3
 This is making much noise in the industry. Like my avid disc brakes.
  • + 2
 I wonder if they'll ever resurrect their stalled IPO from a few years back... either way, what a story!
  • + 2
 Any chance of beta testing being carried out by Scott, Ray and sAM, instead of paying customers?
  • + 4
 wtf, no moustaches?
  • + 3
 Is there something going on in the bike industry, it's getting suspicious!
  • + 2
 I think we are seeing the industry mature, with more consolidation, mergers retirements etc. Most recreational industries are dominated by a few and wouldn't be surprised to see the same thing eventually happen to mtb.
  • + 4
 See ya on the trails
  • + 2
 The resignation will take effect in 28.99 days
  • + 2
 Maybe he is going to work with box components???
  • + 2
 Step down like every Reverb
  • + 2
 He's getting out before the DUB fallout starts
  • + 4
 I love DUB. I got 4 bikes, all with DUB setups and a few different BB types. Just keeps things simple for me.
  • + 1
 @PtDiddy: keeps it simple until DUB+ comes out.... thats the problem. there was nothing wrong with 73mm threaded bb's.... my old 73mm xtr bb's were bulletproof
  • + 2
 @jcav5: Yup nothing wrong with threaded BB's, DUB has even smaller bearings than the crappy old GXP.
  • + 1
 The New SRAM CEO has vowed to create an industry-standard compatibility of all hubs, BBs, crank arms, and thru-axles.
  • + 1
 Gosh wow....... does he ride a bike?
How bout the new guy whatis name.
He ride a bike?
  • + 2
 I had those original grip shift on my 87 Kona Explosif.....
FK I'm old Frown
  • + 2
 Bring back the totem before you leave.
  • + 3
 "who does #2 work for?"
  • + 2
 Good work Stan!
  • - 1
 I generally do not hire anyone whose resume begins with their education for anything above the Assistant level, but then again, I dont own SRAM.
  • + 2
 You know what is best when you have 10-15years of experience and come for a job interview while still working at a good work place. This relaxation... that I want this job at least as much as you want me to work for you. And when there’s too litte hands to work in town... an experienced worker is like Ryan Gosling walking into a bar full of 35yr old divorcees. He’s going to get laid for sure, and if he plays his cards right, with two at once.
  • + 1
 'Shock'ing news. At least there was no suspension involved.
  • + 1
 Meet the new boss Same as the old boss
  • + 2
 Does ken lousberg RIDE?
  • + 2
 Do you bike Ken?
  • + 2
 Hahaha yeah
  • + 1
 So if Stan leaves and Ken joins, does this make it KRAM?
  • + 13
 No, Stan was the R (middle name is Ray), so it would become SKAM.
  • + 0
 @scottaworley: I thought R is for Randy
  • - 1
 the next ceo slogan was "make the reverb great again"
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