Spartan Motors CEO announces retirement; successor named

Dec. 15, 2014

John Sztykiel, president & CEO of Spartan Motors, has announced his retirement, effective Feb. 19, 2015. Daryl Adams, currently COO, will succeed Sztykiel, who will remain as a member of the board of directors and serve as a consultant to the company until Aug. 31, 2016.

“John has devoted his professional career to Spartan Motors. For the past 30 years, he has been an enthusiastic champion for Spartan, its products and associates, and his imprint is in every aspect of our business,” said Hugh Sloan, chairman of the board. “Since becoming president in 1991 and CEO in 2002, he has led Spartan’s growth and transformation from a fire truck chassis maker into a diversified and increasingly global specialty vehicle manufacturer. We thank John for his years of service and dedication to Spartan and for all of his accomplishments and contributions he has made to the company.”

Sztykiel, 57, joined Spartan in 1985 and assumed roles of increasing responsibility, including as president & CEO.  During his tenure, revenues increased from $9.9 million to a projected $500 million-plus in 2014, representing a 14% compound annual growth rate, and Spartan’s market capitalization grew from $10 million to more than $170 million, in addition to a 21-year history of paying dividends, the company said.

 Today Spartan is a manufacturer of premium emergency response apparatus, delivery and service vehicles, as well as motorhome chassis with a global customer base. 

“The time is now right to ensure a smooth transition,” Sztykiel said. “Spartan has positive momentum in 2014 with improving operations, a strong balance sheet, solid order backlog and growing revenue. I am proud of Spartan’s achievements and feel honored to have been part of creating a unique culture that blends a creative entrepreneurial spirit with disciplined operations centered on a passion for the customer. The result is that we not only impacted the world each day, we created a better tomorrow. Now it is time for me to pursue the passions and objectives that lie ahead of me and hand off leadership to a new generation. Daryl Adams has already demonstrated he understands our business and is the right choice to lead Spartan to an even brighter future.”

Adams, 52, joined Spartan Motors as COO on Aug. 11, 2014. Prior to joining Spartan Motors, he was CEO of Midway Products Group, a privately held Tier One automotive supplier. Before joining Midway Products, he held a succession of management positions over a 17-year career with global automotive supplier Lear Corporation, including senior leadership roles in Lear's North American and European operations.

“It is an honor to lead Spartan Motors into the future, building upon the strengths that John was instrumental in developing,” Adams said. “I share John's enthusiasm and am committed to working with an outstanding team of associates to execute the Spartan strategy and deliver innovative new products that will generate growth going forward.”

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