Minnetonka, Minnesota – Tom Mackin, president of Rapala USA and Executive Vice President of Distribution and Brands in North America for Rapala VMC Corporation, will retire from the company on December 31, 2021. He will be succeeded by Marcus Twidale, who was appointed Mackin’s successor by the Rapala VMC Corporation Board of Directors. Mackin will continue as a strategic advisor to Rapala VMC Corporation for two more years as the company transitions to new leadership in the U.S. market.
Mackin started working with Rapala in 1990 as an account supervisor with the Carmichael Lynch advertising firm, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1998, he joined Rapala as Vice President of Marketing and became president of Rapala USA in 2003. He became a member of Rapala VMC Corporation’s executive committee in 2007.
During Mackin’s tenure, he served on a four-person team that took Rapala public in 1998, he oversaw the acquisition of five fishing tackle companies and two mergers, and he and the U.S. team grew Rapala’s U.S. revenues and profits by 5 times.
In an industry that sees brands come and go, Mackin’s legacy as head of Rapala’s U.S. operations is the powerhouse portfolio of fishing brands he built over the past 30 years. As the Rapala brand continued to thrive under his leadership, Mackin built one of the most consistently profitable house of brands in the U.S. fishing tackle market with brands such as VMC hooks and terminal tackle, Storm lures, Sufix fishing lines, Luhr-Jensen lures, Blue Fox lures, Williamson lures, Terminator lures, and Strikemaster ice fishing gear.
Rapala fishing lures continue to this day to remain the number one selling fishing lure in the U.S. with market share of 4 times the nearest competitor.
Mackin also oversaw the extension of the Rapala brand into tools and accessories for serious freshwater, saltwater and ice anglers. Mackin also led Rapala into the digital world. Rapala’s website, emails, and social media reach millions of anglers every day, providing sales support for big box retailers as well as independent dealers.
“I’ve had an incredible 30-plus years working with the No. 1 brand in fishing,” said Mackin, “I feel that I’m leaving the brand and the company in a much stronger position than when I started.
For his next chapter, Mackin, who splits his time between Minnesota and Florida, plans to focus on his family, friends, faith, fitness and philanthropy. “I feel really blessed and lucky to have worked with such a great group of people over the years and in such a wonderful industry.”
Rapala was unofficially founded in 1936 when Lauri Rapala invented the Rapala fishing lure. Rapala has grown from humble beginnings to become a market leader in the fishing tackle industry. The brand’s functionality and high quality are known by fishermen worldwide. Rapala maintains strict standards of craftsmanship while delivering its fishing products to anglers in more than 130 countries.