Polaris Industries has hired McKinsey & Co. veteran Chris Musso to lead its troubled off-road vehicle division, company officials announced Thursday.
Musso, a former senior leader of McKinsey’s America’s Product Development Group, takes over a vehicle division that has weathered an industry downturn plus three years in which Polaris recalled more than 420,000 off-road vehicles due to fire risks and mechanical hazards.
He will become president of the $3.4 billion division, Polaris’ largest, effective Nov. 6 and will report to Polaris CEO Scott Wine.
Musso replaces Matthew Homan, a 15-year Polaris veteran who was named Polaris’ ORV president in January 2016. Company officials said Thursday that Homan has decided to leave the company, but will stay until early 2018 to “help ensure a seamless transition.”
Wine said he is “excited about leveraging [Musso’s] broad experience, keen intellect and passion for powersports to build on the positive momentum our off-road vehicles team has developed.”
Wine added that he has seen Musso’s drive and competitiveness and is “confident he is the right leader for this key part of Polaris’ portfolio.”
Musso spent nearly 20 years as a consultant helping other businesses with strategy and growth. He was the founding partner of McKinsey’s fast-growing Denver office and previously spent five years leading a small engineering and modeling consultancy.
“Chris has helped numerous companies, ranging from automotive and outdoor recreation industries to the chemicals sector, spur growth and increase productivity,” Wine said. “Chris likes to win, and we are excited to see him propel the ORV division into a very bright future.”
In a statement, Musso described himself as an “avid powersports enthusiast” who owns more than 10 Polaris vehicles and is excited to join the company.
“Polaris has a highly talented team in place, and I cannot wait to start building on the solid foundation they have established,” he said. “Looking ahead, I’m excited to work with the team to drive strategy, innovation and product superiority that will take ORV and [snowmobiles] to new heights.”
Musso, who holds a U.S. patent for metal matrix composite technology, earned a doctorate in technology, management and policy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He also has master’s degrees in materials science, business administration and technology policy from MIT, where he served as a Leaders for Manufacturing Fellow. He earned his bachelor’s degree in manufacturing from Brigham Young University.
Polaris, which generated $4.5 billion in 2016 revenue, is expected to release third-quarter earnings results Oct. 24.
Dee DePass • 612-673-7725