Mobile, AL-based supplier firm Crown Products (asi/47700) announced this week that its founder, Bob Bickert, has retired from the company as of April 1. Bickert lead Crown Products for the past 18 years and most recently served in the position of managing director/business development.
Within five years into Bickert's leadership, the company made Inc. magazine's list of fastest-growing companies for two consecutive years. In 2005, EBSCO Industries acquired Crown Products, and Bickert remained an active leader within the company following the deal. "Bob's achievement in this industry is extremely amazing; developing strong relationships with both customers and competitors," said Bobby Wasden, vice president and general manager of Crown Products. "I told Bob that whenever I think of Crown, I will think of Bob Bickert. This will be shared by many – current and past employees, customers and the promotional products industry."
While Crown announced Bickert's retirement from the company, his personal LinkedIn page says he "will be serving a two-year non-compete in the promotional products industry. I will be looking for investment opportunities outside of the industry or possibly in the industry after two years." In a statement, Bickert said he's proud of his many accomplishments with Crown. "The company is in a very good state in terms of the management team, new products, and the whatever-it-takes philosophy," he said. "This is a very good time for me to leave the organization to find some new opportunities to help people. However, I will miss all the wonderful employees at Crown and my many friends in the industry. It has been a great run."