The president/CEO of Zodiac Pool
Systems Americas is stepping down.
Bob Rasp, a member of the company’s management team since
1994, will be succeeded next month by Calvin Johnston, who comes to
the pool industry from Galls, a Lexington, Ky.-based division of
Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel.
“I told myself that when the time was right, I wanted to
buy my own company, or companies,” Rasp said from his office
in Moorpark, Calif. “And by mid-March of this year, I let
[Zodiac Marine and Pool CEO] Yves Dominioni know I was ready to
Rasp’s move adds to a period of transition for one of the
industry’s leading manufacturers. Late last year the company
announced a restructuring of management around the time Vance
Gillette departed from day-to-day operations as executive vice
president of sales and marketing.
With months of advance notice, Zodiac officials conducted a
comprehensive search for Rasp’s replacement, said David
Nibler, Zodiac vice president of marketing in Vista, Calif.
Johnston was selected for his strong background in consumer
marketing, as well as his experience working in Europe for Russell
Athletic prior to his term at Aramark.
For a multinational company with product lines manufactured and
sold in the United States and Europe, Johnston was a logical
choice, Nibler said. He added that Johnston’s background
meshes with Zodiac’s interest in emerging markets in Asia and
Johnston has been communicating with Rasp regularly in the weeks
since his selection, officials said.
“He’s a quick study — and he asks all the
right questions,” Rasp said. “That was really the
board’s and my goal: to have him hit the ground running and
make the hand-off as seamless as possible.”
Rasp’s pending departure had been a closely kept secret
for months, but the news is traveling quickly throughout the
“Bob was a good competitor,” said Carlos Del Amo,
director of marketing at Pentair Water Pool and Spa in Sanford, N.C.
“In this kind of environment, and for a company of that
magnitude, change is inevitable. I’m sure his people are
going to miss him.”
As for his next venture, Rasp is in the early stages of
researching companies for potential acquisition. He said he’s
leaning toward a manufacturing company (or multiple companies) that
would be too small to take offshore — something business to
business, he added.
But he knows it won’t be a quick process. “People
have told me to expect a year on average before closing the
deal,” he said. “But I’m excited about it, and
they’re all excited for me here.”
Rasp will remain a management shareholder of Zodiac Marine and
Pool, which is owned by private-equity firm The Carlyle