Great Dane appoints new leader for 2023

A succession plan is in motion at US-based OEM, Great Dane.

Great Dane CEO, Bill Crown, is stepping down.

Effective 1 January 2023, Great Dane President, Dean Engelage, will succeed Crown as the company’s CEO. This appointment is reported to be part of a managed executive transition coordinated by Crown, the Great Dane executive leadership team and Great Dane’s ownership.

“It has been a privilege to serve Great Dane as CEO over the past 25 years, where both our internal team and our customers feel like family,” said Crown.

“Dean and I have worked closely together, and Dean has been a terrific leader and President for Great Dane. I step aside with confidence that Great Dane is in good and capable hands. I think it is important to highlight, that among Dean and his team’s many accomplishments, they have led Great Dane to become the safest company in the trailer industry for our associates, and they have elevated quality to the highest levels in our company’s history in areas including products, services, and people, maintaining Great Dane as a world-class market leader.

“I thank Dean for his day-to-day leadership as Great Dane’s President for the past nine years, and I know that, in his new role, he will continue to lead the company with the values our customers depend on and the pioneering spirit that has positioned Great Dane as an innovator in the industry. I appreciate Dean’s willingness to take over for me in the role of CEO.”

Engelage said he is honoured to accept his new role as CEO of Great Dane.

“I look forward to working with our dedicated team to further the company’s market leadership and equip our customers for the future, while maintaining the first-class customer experience they expect from us,” he said.

Additionally, Crown and Engelage announced that they have named Rick Mullininx to succeed Engelage as President and Chief Operating Officer of Great Dane, also effective 1 January 2023. Mullininx has been with Great Dane for 40 years and served in various engineering and manufacturing roles within Great Dane for all that time making him one of the company’s most senior and valued associates. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President of Engineering. In this role, he is responsible for product design, production engineering, manufacturing engineering, quality assurance, and customer service, leading those teams with his vast knowledge and experience.

“Great Dane is an exceptional company and I take on this new position with excitement and humility,” said Mullininx. “Great Dane’s legacy is a customer-focused approach during every interaction and at every stage of production, providing exceptional equipment that performs well under the most challenging conditions. I’m honored to be part of a legacy that is family-oriented yet future-focused.”

Engelage said: “I am delighted to have Rick Mullininx step up to take over responsibility for the day-to-day leadership of the Great Dane Team. I know he will do a terrific job.”

Prior to Great Dane, Engelage worked for American Airlines and General Dynamics in marketing, purchasing and finance, and most recently spent more than 16 years with CC Industries, the management company that manages the Crown family’s portfolio of operating companies, in various management positions. Engelage began his career with CC Industries in 1996 in the marketing department of Woodard, a CC Industries managed furniture company, becoming President of Woodard in 2004. After presiding over the sale of Woodard in 2008, Engelage worked on the Johnson Truck Bodies and Trail King acquisitions and also managed CC Industries’ Asia operations.

He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has a Master’s degree in Finance.

Rick Mullininx.

Mullininx first joined Great Dane in 1980 when he took a summer engineering position as an intern in the Research and Development department in Savannah. Soon after, he accepted a position as an engineer in Production Design and Development, responsible for developing designs for customer orders. Mullininx continuously gained experience, responsibility, and leadership within the engineering department at Great Dane.

Prior to his most recent role as the Executive Vice President of Engineering, Mullininx served as the VP of Engineering, responsible for the design and production engineering for five trailer product lines in addition to previous manufacturing engineering duties.

He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. He also earned a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina.

Earlier this year, Great Dane expanded its dealer network.

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