Richard Turner has been named president and CEO of Fort Smith-based Umarex USA, the sport shooting industry supplier that has operated in the area since 2006. The company is a subsidiary of Arnsberg, Germany-based Umarex.
Turner has worked as company president since March 2017, and prior to that was vice president of sales and marketing since 2006. He has spent the past 20 years in senior management roles within the outdoor and shooting sports industry including time with PRADCO Outdoor Brands and Russell Outdoors/Mossy Oak Apparel. Turner holds an undergraduate degree in marketing from Birmingham Southern College and a master’s degree in business administration from University of Alabama-Birmingham and serves on the board of Directors of the Airgun Sporting Association.
“Richard has been instrumental in the rapid and sustained growth of Umarex USA. He is well qualified to lead the company as CEO,” Adam Blalock, Umarex USA’s board chairman said in a statement. “Richard understands our market space and is strong strategically. He has genuine gratitude for the contributions of others and his leadership style includes having fun. I’m more than excited for the future of Umarex USA under the leadership of Richard Turner.”
Blaylock, who has worked as Umarex USA CEO, was named board chairman and will continue as the president and CEO of Walther Arms and Walther Manufacturing.
“I am exceptionally grateful for the opportunity and the trust of the board to lead Umarex USA as its CEO,” Turner said in the statement. “My time with the company has been very rewarding primarily because of our talented and committed Umarex team, along with both our exceptional customers and external business partners who like us are ultimately focused on providing for the needs of our consumer. I am tremendously excited about our combined continued efforts that will lead Umarex USA into our next phase of growth.”
Umarex USA opened a new American corporate headquarters in Fort Smith in 2010, and added a $7 million expansion in 2013 when Walther Arms, also a component of parent company Umarex, moved its operations to Fort Smith. At the time, the company said it would have 70 to 120 jobs in Fort Smith when the expansion is complete.
Umarex USA is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of airguns, pistols, rifles, and other sport shooting products. The parent company based in Germany is the world’s largest manufacturer of over-the-counter firearm replicas and the largest importer of air guns in Europe. Founded in 1972, the mid-sized company has approximately 1,000 employees worldwide.