“The time has come, if not passed, for me to retire,” said Hammond, who was named president in May 1997. “I have enjoyed more than 40 years of service with Great Dane, carrying on a family legacy that started in the 1930s with my father.”
Hammond will remain with Great Dane on the company’s board of directors, and he will take an active role in customer relations. In his new capacity, Hammond will attend trade shows and other industry events, continuing to serve as the voice of Great Dane. While he will remain in his current office in Savannah for now, Hammond no longer will be involved in the day-to-day operations at Great Dane.
“It is a bittersweet occasion, as I will miss working closely with the people who have become like a second family to me. At the same time, I am looking forward to eventually enjoying full retirement,” noted Hammond, who turns 65 this year. “The changes that are being implemented should make the transition seamless.”
Jim Pines, executive vice president, will assume administrative operations of the company as well as continuing to oversee the manufacturing operations. Chris Adkins, senior vice president of sales and marketing, will assume the sales operations portion of Hammond’s responsibilities.
Hammond began his career with Great Dane in 1963 as an engineer and moved into the sales division in 1966. He was named vice president of sales in 1984, and he was promoted to executive vice president and general manager in 1996, a year before he was named president. Hammond’s father, Chris Hammond, Jr., joined Great Dane as a sales representative in Orlando, Fla., in 1937 and later served as president and chairman of Great Dane’s Board of Directors.