New chief operating officer, vice president of procurement, and president of marine business bring strong operational leadership to the PE-backed company

NEW YORK (Dec. 4, 2018) — Acertitude, the executive search firm unleashing human potential globally, has recruited three new leaders for Dexter Axle (Dexter), a leading manufacturer of trailer axles, suspensions, and braking systems and a subsidiary of DexKo Global Inc. (DexKo).

Ernest Carey joins as chief operating officer, John Economou as vice president of manufacturing and president of the marine business, and Christopher Risdon as vice president of procurement. All will play a critical role in driving profitable growth through outstanding customer service, product quality and innovation, operational efficiencies, and accretive acquisitions.

A portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, DexKo was created at the end of 2015 through the combination of Dexter and AL-KO Vehicle Technology. The company has since been driving an aggressive growth agenda, acquiring several businesses and adding strong brands to its global portfolio, with topline exceeding $1.5 billion today. Dexter is the rapidly growing North American platform and legacy business.

“As we continue to accelerate organic growth through add-on acquisitions, outstanding operational leaders who can optimize profitability and post-deal integrations are critical,” said Adam Dexter, Dexter Axle CEO. “We are excited to welcome Ernest, John, and Chris to our team, whose capabilities are vital to increased operating performance and growth.”

As chief operating officer, Mr. Carey steps in as a strategic business partner to Adam Dexter and as a leader of Dexter’s manufacturing and supply chain operations. He will aggressively establish and achieve cost reduction objectives through design and manufacturing process improvements and labor productivity improvements to markedly improve the company’s EBITDA.

The new president of marine, Mr. Economou, reports to the new chief operating officer and will drive manufacturing excellence across the Dexter portfolio while leading the marine business.

As vice president of procurement, Mr. Risdon will lead purchasing and inventory performance, high-value purchasing services, the annual budget, and sourcing strategies. He also reports to the chief operating officer.

The searches were led by Acertitude Managing Partner Kevin O’Neill and his team, who collaborated closely with Dexter and DexKo leadership. The team completed all three searches in less than 95 days.

“The ultimate driver of operational competitiveness is robust leadership with a singleness of purpose and ability to build and lead high-performing teams — especially in a private equity environment,” said O’Neill. “This is absolutely the priority at Dexter, DexKo, and KPS, and we’re proud to help them expand their advantage by connecting them with Ernest, John, and Chris.”

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