Next Steps for American Sporting Goods

LOS ANGELES — Jerry Turner has stepped back in as president and CEO of American Sporting Goods.

The move follows the departure of Tom O’Riordan, who resigned from his position late last month.

According to O’Riordan, when he joined the company in March 2007, he was tasked with positioning its portfolio of brands — which includes Avia, Ryka and And 1 — for an eventual sale. When a deal seemed unlikely, the former Fila America CEO decided it was time to leave.

“I came in to try to get the company ready for sale, and we started to do that, but I’m not convinced [Chairman Jerry Turner] is ready to sell it anytime soon,” said O’Riordan. “We reached a point where it was time to look to do something else. I didn’t think it was a good fit for me anymore.”

Turner confirmed that the company would not be placed on the block in the foreseeable future. “That’s off the table,” he said, adding that going forward, he would lead the firm and not seek another executive to fill the CEO role.

“The main thing is to continue to manage the business. We’ve got very good people here, and they just need a clear direction of where to go,” Turner said.

“Basically, I stepped back in about three months ago and took over the product, sales and manufacturing responsibilities, which is a meaningful part that drives the business,” he continued. “We’re very excited. We’ve got some great product coming out. We feel very bullish on the business even in the current economy.”

Turner also praised O’Riordan’s time at ASG and his efforts to energize the company’s brands. “The business definitely benefited from him being here, and we’re sorry to see him leave,” he said.

For his part, O’Riordan said he is already fielding offers within the footwear industry and was upbeat about the future.

“There are going to be a million opportunities out there for companies at a tipping point in this economy,” he said. “There are really good brands out there that are going to need a leader to get through this.”

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