Robotic pool cleaner and supply company SmartPool now is under the direct oversight of founder Joe Dubrofsky. At the same time, the Lakewood, N.J.-based manufacturer also has named Marchal DePasquale its new vice president of sales and marketing.
“Marchal is one of the people out there who really
understands the strength of our new technology,” said
Dubrofsky, who in early 2010 re-assumed the role of CEO of the firm
he established in 1997.
“The category has grown tremendously in recent
years,” he added, “and our goal now is just to increase
our share of the robotics business.”
Aftermarket products account for 95 percent of SmartPool’s
business, Dubrofsky said, and the robotics segment represents about
three-quarters of that. So it makes sense the company would tap an
industry veteran such as DePasquale, who for the past decade was
director of marketing for Hayward’s aboveground pool business
He also owned several pool supply stores in Texas prior to
joining Hayward, so DePasquale brings another dimension of
expertise in the aftermarket, Dubrofsky said.
Recent reports have shown an across-the-board lift for robotic
cleaners. According to a survey by Pool & Spa News released in
late February, more than half of service professionals polled
believed the products have grown in popularity over the past two
years. The reasons behind the trend are many. Some simply like the
idea of a cleaner that operates independently of the pool’s
hydraulic system, while others point to recent models that have
been engineered to clean free-form pools more effectively, which
has helped spur growth. Those on the front lines agree.
“I think sales of robotics cleaners are going to pick up
because of ease-of- operation and cost factors,” said Alicia
Rudd, manager of Swimming Pool Superstore in Longview, Texas.
“They’re always coming out with newer and better
models, which is good for the consumer and good for