Mr. Tiller is incredibly young to be a CEO for a company the size of Polaris. This from an 11/15/04 Business Week article on him:
"So far his answer -- a blending of GE-style discipline, new blood, a focus on broader markets, and loyalty to his workers -- seems to be working. Despite a growing national movement to highlight the environmental and safety problems posed by ATVs and snowmobiles, the company is thriving. Under Tiller, sales have risen from $1.2 billion in 1997 to an estimated $1.8 billion this year. More impressive, net income has climbed from $31 million to an estimated $135 million. Heartened by 26 straight quarters of meeting or beating expectations, shareholders have bid the stock up 274% during Tiller's tenure, compared with a 12% drop for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index."
I would say it is beyond any doubt that this guy's leadership invigorated Polaris. Who knows why he is stepping aside, but it seems that Polaris will miss Mr. Tiller greatly.
This from Forbes - the outgoing CEO's package from Polaris is worth over 60 million. With that kind of scratch, perhaps he just feels like kicking it for awhile. I know it would be hard for me to work if I had that kind of money!
Cash Compensation (FY December 2006)
Latest FY other long-term comp. $1,603,445
Latest FY long-term incentive payout $0
Stock Options (FY December 2006)
Number of options Market value
exercised 550,000 $29,398,125
unexercised 1,550,000 $38,051,750
unexercisable 415,000 $718,500
Total 2,515,000 $68,168,375