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Factor Bikes hires experienced crew as it eyes global sales
CARLSBAD, Calif. (BRAIN) — Factor Bikes has hired industry veterans Richard Wittenberg, Jon Kameen and Antoine Berte as the company prepares for global sales expansion. Wittenberg and his business development firm Lucidity will serve as managing director and provide U.S. logistics support. Kameen will be general manager of North America and Berte will lead the charge in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as general manager of EMEA.
Factor recently became the sponsor of ProTour team AG2R La Mondiale. The U.K. company is owned by Rob Gitelis and Baden Cooke. Gitelis has overseen manufacturing for brands including Cervélo, Canyon and Argon 18, having worked in carbon manufacturing in Asia for the past 16 years. Cooke is a 14-year professional cyclist-turned-entrepreneur. They acquired Factor in 2014.
The company was established in 2007 in an unassuming industrial unit in Norfolk, England. It was originally an offshoot of bf1systems, an engineering firm working with brands including Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Maserati and many F1, Moto GP and WRC teams.
\”We took our time to find the right people to fit our corporate vision of being the world\’s most coveted bicycle brand. You can only do this with the right people,\” said Gitelis, CEO of Factor. \”Richard, Jon and Antoine not only have the experience, but more importantly the attitude to help us be the ultimate performance bicycle brand in the world.\”
Wittenberg has held senior roles with Ridley, Cannondale and Pacific Cycles, among others. Kaneen\’s North American leadership spans companies such as Burton and Cervélo. He was most recently head of sales for Pon in North America. Berte\’s experience covers Europe and Asia in both engineering and sales for Rotor and Praxis.
Factor engineers, builds and markets its parts and bikes in house and provides them to world tour teams. It makes those same products available to cyclists worldwide. In addition to Factor Bikes, the company sells Black Inc. components, including wheels, bars and stems.
The company said it\’s focusing distribution on the IBD. The first 270 frames the company made went to the AG2R La Mondiale Pro Tour Team to drive interest and consumers into retail.
\”People thought we were absolutely crazy to sponsor a ProTour team before we even sold our first bike,\” said Cooke, executive director as well as a Tour de France green jersey winner, \”but we are committed to making the best products and the only way we could validate this is by supporting the ultimate form of the sport.\”
Factor is looking for retailers to carry Factor and Black Inc. product. Dealers will be protected with large territories, minimum margin guaranties, low initial buy-in and no-cost stock rotation, the company said.
More info: Factorbikes.com.