Chris Baer Photo: Vipar Heavy Duty

Chris Baer Photo: Vipar Heavy Duty

Vipar Heavy Duty has successfully completed its leadership succession plan with the board of directors naming company president Chris Baer as the new CEO, effective immediately.

Baer assumed the duties of president of Vipar late last year. He replaces former president and CEO Steve Crowley, who retained his role as CEO during a transition period. After serving 16 years with Vipar, Crowley has officially retired.

“The board adopted a strategic succession plan nearly three years ago to ensure the long-term success of the organization,” said Bill Nolan, Vipar chairman. “By building upon the talent and experience of our existing leaders, we were able to execute the transition while continuing to invest in the development of our team. Assuming the role of CEO was a natural progression for Chris, who has proven to have the experience and vision necessary to succeed in the ever-changing aftermarket and to strategically position Vipar Heavy Duty and its family of companies for growth both now and into the future.”

In January, Baer introduced a new management structure and new leadership roles to help the company achieve its aggressive growth goals. Before joining Vipar Heavy Duty, Baer was with Chicago Rawhide/SKF for 17 years in a variety of sales management roles, including director of automotive aftermarket sales.

Baer also served as a member of the AWDA Young Executive Society (YES) committee and earned the Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) designation from the University of the Aftermarket. He is a 2014 recipient of the Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award. Baer is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago.

“I appreciate the board’s confidence in my leadership and the talented individuals that support our organization on a daily basis,” said Baer. “As we kickoff ‘G3,’ the third phase in our history, our entire team will play a valuable role as we work to accomplish the initiatives detailed in our ‘Game Plan for Growth.’ Top on our list of priorities is to improve on our execution, which will help increase our speed to market.”