Welcome To P8ntballer.com
The Home Of European Paintball
Sign Up & Join In

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

Robbo

Owner of this website
Jul 5, 2001
13,105
2,149
448
London
www.p8ntballer.com
Billy’s not so Silly ….



66394

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.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Spikerz and Lee H

Spikerz

Super Moderator
Mar 25, 2014
1,759
701
148
41
Much love Robbo, but why did GI pull all spare parts from their folks in the UK?

That screams consolidation. Maybe it's due to Komrad Boris and Brexit, which would legit make some sense. But when GI pulls product out of the Uk and reassigns it?
That bring up a question of their long term support for the UK marker. If it's based from Germany? Ok that's fine but let's make that clear. They tried to be tricky and slide gear and support out of the UK when no one was looking.

Billy is in a terrible spot, he has to answer to all rumors and to the stockholders of the company for the cash money side. Fulcrum will want their money back at a certain point. Normally 3-5 years for investment firms to recoup cash.

Now who's best positioned to do well? I think Billy is a badass who will only help the situation and not hurt it. Which is awesome. I really hope he does well.

The whole industry because of how connected we are, could and should benefit from a tiny bit more transparency.
 

Robbo

Owner of this website
Jul 5, 2001
13,105
2,149
448
London
www.p8ntballer.com
Apologies for extended delay in getting back to you Spike but I've had a few problems to contend with and I had no other choice but to deal with them.
However, I think that most of the problems have been sorted, and so fingers crossed, they don't make any sort of a come-back.
Who was it who once commented:- ''Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated' …… :confused:
Moving on …..

I talked to Billy the other night and mentioned your question - he said that there's still over 15k's worth of spare parts over here.
He added that it might well be the fact that [Gi] used to do their teching off-site but they've just moved it back to the UK warehouse.

Hopefully, that sorts any doubts out but if you have any other queries then I promise I won't take so long in answering them unless of course I get hit by a Jumbo Jet .... and by the way things have been unfolding of late, I wouldn't write it off.

Thanks Spike ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom

Ash - GI Sportz

GI Sportz
Jun 14, 2006
401
209
83
34
GI Towers
Much love Robbo, but why did GI pull all spare parts from their folks in the UK?

That screams consolidation. Maybe it's due to Komrad Boris and Brexit, which would legit make some sense. But when GI pulls product out of the Uk and reassigns it?
That bring up a question of their long term support for the UK marker. If it's based from Germany? Ok that's fine but let's make that clear. They tried to be tricky and slide gear and support out of the UK when no one was looking.

Billy is in a terrible spot, he has to answer to all rumors and to the stockholders of the company for the cash money side. Fulcrum will want their money back at a certain point. Normally 3-5 years for investment firms to recoup cash.

Now who's best positioned to do well? I think Billy is a badass who will only help the situation and not hurt it. Which is awesome. I really hope he does well.

The whole industry because of how connected we are, could and should benefit from a tiny bit more transparency.
Mike we have everything here at our UK warehouse still (we always have), and like Robbo says we have on site tech support here too - we even announced this on our Facebook page on Monday

No idea where you heard the rumour, but I will happily answer any questions you have about GI that you may have heard along the grapevine.

In short though:
-We're still very much in the UK market
-We're not moving out any time soon
-Expect an even higher UK profile from us in 2020 :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: James ECI

Spikerz

Super Moderator
Mar 25, 2014
1,759
701
148
41
Ahh perhaps it was from a certain UK company then ;)

If there's a no deal Brexit, how does the customs work moving product to the EU? I guess it'd go through Max's? (I'm up to my ears in brexit issues due to working for a financial firm in Ireland)
 

Robbo

Owner of this website
Jul 5, 2001
13,105
2,149
448
London
www.p8ntballer.com
Fuhk Brexit - Fuhk Brexit - Fuhk Brexit …….. I'd bet my house on the fact that if we had a referendum on whether to scrap Brexit, and stay in the EU, I think there's a good chance we'd vote to stay in.
I realise it's off topic but I wonder how much money has already been wasted getting absolutely nowhere … I think I might be repeating myself here but my dad once wisely noted:-
"No matter who I vote for, the government always seems to get in" ...

Apologies once again for derailing thread ….
 
  • Like
Reactions: James ECI

Tom

Tom
Nov 27, 2006
3,698
1,088
198
Salisbury
www.TaskForceDelta.co.uk
Ahh perhaps it was from a certain UK company then ;)

If there's a no deal Brexit, how does the customs work moving product to the EU? I guess it'd go through Max's? (I'm up to my ears in brexit issues due to working for a financial firm in Ireland)
By leaving the EU we wouldn’t benefit from free movement of goods

Import VAT would apply, so outgoing stock would be liable to the receiving countries / EUs VAT equivalent

With no deal / Trade agreement then under WTO arrangements import duty tariffs would also apply (the tariff on a class of items could be 0%, but only if the tariff is 0% to every country in the world)

The recipient pays more, and also ends up paying a carrier a fee for handling all those charges.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spikerz

Ash - GI Sportz

GI Sportz
Jun 14, 2006
401
209
83
34
GI Towers
Ahh perhaps it was from a certain UK company then ;)

If there's a no deal Brexit, how does the customs work moving product to the EU? I guess it'd go through Max's? (I'm up to my ears in brexit issues due to working for a financial firm in Ireland)
I cant speak for other companies, but we are the manufacturer and we arent going anywhere :)

As for Maxs, that became part of GI Sportz Europe in 2017, the same time Manic Paintball became part of GI. So we have distribution in both countries and we can easily cater to all of Europe between the two.

In short, our customer base wont have to deal with moving goods across borders if/when Brexit happens, we'll be dealing with those fun and games. Yay...