Baden Sports’ Board of Directors today announced it has appointed Jake Licht as President and Chief Executive Officer, and Casey Schindler as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
The promotions elevate the company’s third generation of family leadership following the unexpected passing of longtime CEO Michael J. Schindler, the son of Baden founder E.C. Schindler, on Feb. 19.
Licht and Schindler both served in executive leadership roles at Baden prior to assuming their new responsibilities earlier this month. They will be tasked with continuing Baden’s 40-year legacy of innovation, quality, and service that has made the Seattle-area company one of the most respected ball and bat brands in the industry.
“We are grateful for the foundation that Michael worked so hard to create, both in terms of successful products and businesses, and for the way he mentored and prepared a group of capable leaders across the company,” said Baden’s Board of Directors. “Jake and Casey are proven leaders and we have confidence that, along with the great team in place, Baden has a very bright future.”
Licht, the son-in-law of Michael Schindler, has been Baden’s COO since 2016, overseeing all aspects of the company’s global operations, sales, and marketing. Under his leadership, Baden improved its manufacturing capabilities, streamlined its international supply chain, expanded its custom and backyard product offerings, grew key partner relationships, and successfully relaunched its brand.
As CEO, Licht will also oversee Axe® Bat, a sub brand and business division of Baden’s since 2016. Axe Bat designs and manufactures baseball and softball bats with a patented axe-shaped handle; the shape gives players more bat speed, barrel control, and comfort compared to a traditional round knob.
Licht holds bachelor’s degrees in management information systems and East Asian studies from Western Washington University, and a Master of Science in Software Development Management from Carnegie Mellon University. He joined Baden in 2014 from Boeing, where he held leadership positions in program and product management.
“I’m honored to be a part of the next generation of leaders at Baden,” Licht said. “We have a rich history here, and an exciting future together. I look forward to working with the Board and our executive team as we navigate this time of transition, chart our path forward, and empower our employees to continue making quality, innovative products that improve the game for the player.”
Schindler, the son of Michael Schindler, joined Baden in 2011 and has worked in all areas of the organization. For the past five years, he has managed or led various aspects of Baden’s forecasting, purchasing, global logistics, and inventory management systems, first as Supply Chain Manager and most recently as Director of Operations.
In his new role, he will have expanded responsibilities for global operations and be in charge of building teams, processes, and systems that improve Baden’s operational efficiency and sustain growth.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington.
“Baden has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Schindler said. “And while the circumstances of this transition are personally heartbreaking, I can think of no greater honor than to be a part of the leadership team that carries Baden’s mission of authenticity, responsiveness, and innovation forward into the next generation.”
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