Longtime industry fixture Jonathan Clark has resigned from his post as president of Jacuzzi Spas International.
Known for sharp business principles and an emphasis on service, Clark rose through the ranks to lead Jacuzzi’s spa business for a decade and now will leave the industry to join an unspecified financial services firm.
“After more than 20 years with the great brands of Jacuzzi and Sundance, I’ve made the difficult decision to leave this wonderful company, to turn more of my attention to my family and to take my career in a new direction,” Clark said in a prepared statement. “I will miss the tremendous relationships I’ve made in the company, with our incredible dealers and throughout the industry.”
Robert I. Rowan, a recent executive addition, has been named as Clark’s successor. Rowan will lead Jacuzzi’s North American hot tub business in addition to the bath unit he’s helmed since this past summer.
“There are a lot of people who have been here a long time who will still be here,” Jacuzzi spokesman Anthony Pasquarelli said. “Bob’s been heading up the bath business unit for a long time, so the staff has a working relationship with him already, which will help to make this transition even smoother.”
Clark is leaving the hot tub business at a time of considerable pain for the industry, which is pinched by slumping sales and a robust regulatory push.
His departure from not only Jacuzzi, but the entire industry, was little expected — especially coming two months after he began a three-year term on the board of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals.
Describing Clark as someone who “lived and breathed the spa business,” Lucite International’s Craig Robinson said his leadership and advocacy would be missed.
“We’d been looking forward to having his business mind on the Board of Directors,” he said, adding that Clark had gone to bat for the association’s Hot Tub Council and growth campaign designed to stem — and, it is hoped, reverse — the industry’s decline.
Clark has yet to formally separate from Jacuzzi and will continue to serve on the board for the time being, Pasquarelli said.
Declining to be interviewed, Terry Brown, chairman of the APSP’s Board of Directors said in a statement that they’d discuss what to do with the seat at their February meeting.
Rounding out the roster changes in its leadership, Jacuzzi also promoted Jerry Pasley to executive senior vice president of sales, and put him in charge of the company’s Jacuzzi and Sundance brands.