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The New President of Gi, A Silly Billy? ... A brief update on the man who's just landed the top job in Paintball ....

Robbo

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Jul 5, 2001
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Billy’s not so Silly ….



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Myself, Steve Baldwin and Billy Ceranski ….



It’s hardly any secret that one of my close friends in the US is Billy Ceranski - we played together on Aftershock for three years starting in 96, and have been friends ever since.

Why do I bother even mentioning this?
Two reasons actually, first, I wanted to document what it was like for him in his first few months after being installed as the President of the World’s largest company in paintball, Gi.

And secondly, as soon as Billy took over the reigns of Gi, I then had access to someone at the very top of our industry pyramid in what would otherwise be excluded from the mainstream paintball media.
After all, it's not often that any part of the media has this type of access to the head of the biggest company in paintball, and so I'm going to take advantage of this connection and get the inside track on what's going on in the boardroom of Gi Sportz.
Basically, I now have Billy as a touchstone if I want to know about what’s going on in the rarified air of boardroom politics, and hopefully, along the way, get an understanding of how these big-ass companies make the decisions they do ..

And as I mentioned in the interview I did with him for P8ntballer just recently, he’s not your normal CEO - As to what the ‘normal’ CEO is supposed to be like?
Fuhk knows, but I do know Billy doesn’t fit that stereotype.

Anyway, I called him up last night to see how he was coping in his new role as the most powerful man in our industry/sport.
Mind you, I’d better clarify something here, if anybody thinks I’m writing this just because Billy’s a mate of mine, my answer would have to be, ‘damn straight, it is’.
This doesn’t mean he’ll be yanking my strings, he’s a mate of mine not my puppeteer - it does mean however, that I’ll be covering some of what goes on at the highest levels of our paintball industry - relationships aside, that’s gotta be a good thing for our sport.

One of Billy’s major concerns during his first few months in the hot-seat has been the industry rumour-mill that tends to buzz with all sorts of BS when a new man gets a hold of a new broom.
There are several reasons as to why the rumour-mill kicks into high-gear in situations like these - some of the reasons are pernicious and self-serving, and some are downright meddlesome intended to undermine - either way, it’s good for Billy to be able to put the record straight, and I’ve got zero problem in helping him do just that.


Well, there’s been no wholesale redundancies as some were speculating nor has there been any move to discard core brands, and embark upon a new direction with what remained.
I think we’ve all seen examples of people taking control of major concerns, and the first thing they do is prematurely impose their newfound authority by scything jobs and core-brands.

I had heard that certain brands such as Tippmann were maybe up for grabs which of course would be big news seeing as Tippmann had long been one of our sport’s biggest concerns.
And so I asked Billy straight up if they were gonna ditch Tippmann but it turns out to be a large dollop of BS - there’ll be no jettisoning of core brands such as Tippmann, JT or Empire.

One thing he did tell me that seemed like a good idea which was the creation of a Gi think-tank that will be put-together to act as a sounding-board.

The composition of this think-tank is to be made up of retailers, field owners and several staff [non-board members].
For a long time now, it was thought our top industry people had seemingly lost touch with what our sport was all about - I think this is Billy’s response to that insomuch he really does value the opinion of certain people in our sport/industry - he could of course be instituting this for cosmetic reasons but that ain’t really his style; if he’s gonna create an industry touchstone then he’s done it to provide the Gi board with an authoritative helping hand to his management, and that has to be a good thing for all of us.

Anyways, ‘so far, so good’ seems to be somewhat appropriate.
I'll be calling him up very month or so, and I'll keep you updated if there's any news that might be of interest.
 
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