Brunswick names new Mercury Marine president

Brunswick Corp. has named John Buelow as president of its Mercury Marine business, replacing Christopher Drees, who plans to leave the company on March 3.

Buelow was previously the vice president of global operations for Fond du Lac-based Mercury Marine. He joined the company in 2004 and held a number of finance roles in his first six years.

Starting in 2010, Buelow held a number of different leadership roles at Mercury Marine’s headquarters, including vice president of business development, VP and general manager of Mercury Castings, VP for category management and strategic planning then his global operations role for nearly five years.

“John is an established leader with close to 20 years of experience at Brunswick in a number of global leadership roles and I am confident that he will continue Mercury’s momentum and sustained growth,” said David Foulkes, chief executive officer of Mettawa, Illinois-based Brunswick. “John’s promotion is indicative of the talent and experience we have in our management ranks across the entire company and our continued focus on succession planning.”

Drees told the company Feb. 2 he would pursue opportunities outside Brunswick and the marine industry. He was named president of the business in April 2019. He previously led the company’s marine parts and accessories business from 2018 to 2019 and was vice president of Mercury global operations from 2014 to 2018. Prior to 2014, he held roles of increasing responsibilities since joining Mercury Marine in 1998.

“Chris led Mercury through a number of significant milestones during his career and has been an outstanding partner during my time as CEO,” Foulkes said. “On behalf of Mercury and Brunswick, I wish Chris and his family the very best in their future endeavors.”

Brunswick’s propulsion division, which includes Mercury Marine, reported $2.82 billion in revenue for 2022, a 12.7% increase from 2021. Operating earnings were up 16.3% to $522.9 million, improving operating margins from 18% to 18.5%.

Drees was among the Wisconsin business leaders named to the Wisconsin 275, BizTimes Media’s list of the state’s most influential business people.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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