Dec 8, 2021
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Shinola parent company Bedrock Manufacturing appoints new CEO

Dec 8, 2021

Bedrock Manufacturing Company (BMC), owner of Detroit-based watchmaker Shinola and Seattle-based outdoor apparel and accessories brand Filson, announced on Tuesday that it has appointed Awenate Cobbina as its new CEO, effective January 1, 2022.

BMC's new CEO, Awenate Cobbina - Photo: BMC

The appointment will represent an expansion of the leadership role currently held by Cobbina, who has served as a member of the company’s board since April of this year and is also responsible for running investments and philanthropic activities for BMC’s largest investor, Bedrock Group LP.
In his new position, Cobbina will be expected to lead BMC’s day-to-day activities, while also exploring and developing new business opportunities, at a time when, according to the company, its two brands “are both poised for growth.”

Fossil founder Tom Kartsotis, who launched BMC in Texas, in 2005, will continue to be an active presence at the company and will work closely with Cobbina and the other members of the group’s leadership team in order to define its path moving forward.
Cobbina brings varied experience to his new role. Before joining Bedrock Group LP earlier this year, he worked as part of the Biden-Harris transition’s executive leadership team, serving as director of operations.
Prior to this, he worked at Pistons Sport & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons, where he was vice president of public and business affairs, and executive director of the Detroit Pistons Foundation. During his time with the Pistons, the executive played a key role in the move of the basketball team from Auburn Hills to Detroit in 2017.
His past experience also includes a six-year stint in the Obama White House, where he served as a political appointee, holding roles in legislative affairs, and management and budget. He also worked in the Chief of Staff’s Office, serving as special assistant to the president and policy advisor to the office of the chief of staff.
In addition, he currently serves as the chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s executive committee, a role to which he was appointed by governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2019.
“Awenate's capabilities are exactly what we need to make the most of the investments that have been made over time,” said Kartsotis in a release. “Even more exciting is the fact that we have assembled a management team that is well prepared to drive both shareholder and community value in unison.”
Cobbina’s appointment comes on the heels of the hiring of Signet Jewelers alum Michele Santana as BMC’s new CFO in October.

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