In order to view all images, please register and log in. This will also allow you to comment on our stories and have the option to receive our email alerts. Click here to register

Bill Lasky departs

Bill Lasky, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of JLG is leaving the company now that the Oshkosh acquisition has been completed.

Lasky joined JLG in December 1999 as president and chief operating officer, following more than 22 years with Dana Corporation. Since then Lasky has steered the company through a tough period in 2001, setting the company up for the prolific growth it has seen since 2002.

During his ‘watch’ JLG has made a number of strategic acquisitions which have turned out to be some of the most successful in the aerial lift industry.

He acquired the Gradal and Omniquip businesses giving JLG a dominant position in the North American telehandler market. While the recent deal with Caterpillar has the potential to achieve his goal of winning 10 percent of the European telehandler market over the next three years.

The smaller acquisition of the Manlift business from Grove, not only helped add some niche products to the company’s range but solved the long term problem of cracking the French market.

Today JLG has a healthy market share and a thriving and dynamic manufacturing operation there.

In his time JLG first all became a $billion company, then a $2 billion company and was on target to be a $3 billion company this year.

While JLG can hardly be called a perfect company under Lasky, he has done very little wrong and made a lot of shareholders very wealthy.

Vertikal Comment

Without talking to Bill Lasky it is hard to understand his rush to leave. Of course it might well be the choice of Oshkosh, many acquisitive companies have a policy never to take on the chief executive, preferring to appoint their own man.

If, as we understand, Lasky was preparing to hand over to Craig Paylor anyway then he may well have been wise to stand aside at this natural break with the past. Allowing Paylor or whomever succeeds him a fresh start under new management.

If the new CEO is Paylor, then certainly he will find it easier to work within a group like Oshkosh than Lasky might have done.

Paylor has been with JLG for a long time and has had to work for a number of different bosses, some of whom have not been the easiest.

No matter who leads JLG into 2007, it was always going to be a challenge, as everyone waits to see how Oshkosh integrates the business and how much it chooses to interfere.

Oshkosh has taken on a good deal of debt and paid a substantial premium to acquire JLG, buying at what may well prove to be the top of the market.

It needs now to have some stability in order for the company and its people to continue doing what they have been doing.