Sept 24, 2020
A Few Words from Peter Harken
We started this company to build the best sailing products we could at a fair price. We’ve had good success doing it, and that makes us proud. What we might not have anticipated was how much the culture of this place means to its success. My brother Olaf, Art Mitchel, and I tried to build a place where people could take chances and not be afraid to fail. More and more it’s our people who have made this place the leader it is.
Today, we’re acknowledging an ownership change. It’s time for those who have worked with us to own Harken. I’ve got all the faith in the world in Bill Goggins, who is now CEO; Matt Malec, COO; and John Jensen, our CFO-along with the members of our Executive Committee made up of Andrea Merello, Managing Director at Harken Italy; Adriano Rubinaccio, Director of Operations at Harken Italy; and Stefano Castagna, Director of Global HR. These people we hired and developed have had their hands on the wheel for a while now, and I look forward to seeing them make their marks.
I’ve always said the company is its people, and it’s all 400 worldwide that make this place great. Three years ago when Harken turned 50, someone asked what we wanted Harken to be like when it turned 100. In 2067, we want it to be stronger than it is today. We hope it will still feel like Harken, but it needs to be doing more than we can even dream of today. This transaction is to help make that happen.
To our customers and collaborators: Take nothing about this news based on faith. These corporate announcements always sound like snow jobs. So, don’t believe anything about this based on anything I or anyone else says. Just keep checking out Harken products and buy from us until the second you find someone who can do it better – we won’t forget how to compete.
To the new owners: Olaf would be very happy today. I wish he was here to see this. But as I told you the day he passed away: no screwing around, he’ll be watching. So will I. It’s your watch now. Let’s roll!”
Harken, Inc. is the creation of founders Peter and Olaf Harken. Started in 1968 with the invention of the plastic recirculating ball bearing block and development of Olympic Class sailboats, Harken today works hard to be the technological leader in deck hardware, winches, and hydraulics.
Harken is the brand of choice for most leading America’s Cup syndicates, teams in The Ocean Race, Grand Prix champions, One Designs, and Olympic classes, through to the world’s most discerning designers and builders serving performance and bluewater cruising markets.
Harken’s network includes distribution in 48 countries, with group offices located in Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Holland, and the United States. The company has factories in Pewaukee, WI USA and Limido Comasco, Italy.