Industry / Watches

Shinola Parent Bedrock Names New CEO


Bedrock Manufacturing Co., the parent company of watch brand Shinola and outerwear company Filson, has appointed government and sports executive Awenate Cobbina (pictured) to be its new CEO.

Cobbina will take over the role on Jan. 1, 2022. He currently serves as a member of the company’s board and manages the philanthropic activities of the Bedrock Group, the company’s largest shareholder.

He will work alongside Shannon Washburn, who remains CEO of Shinola. Washburn has headed the watch and lifestyle brand since 2019.

In October, Michele Santana, the former chief financial officer of Signet Jewelers, became Bedrock’s chief financial officer. Former Signet CEO Mark Light serves as Bedrock’s executive chairman.

In August, following layoffs at Filson, the Seattle Times reported that Bedrock could be looking to take itself public, citing an employment posting for a CFO with experience “leading a company through [an] IPO.”

A Bedrock spokesperson tells JCK: “We actively evaluate options that support the health and growth of our business in the future, but we are not pursuing an initial public offering at this time.”

Prior to joining Bedrock, Cobbina served as director of operations for the Biden-Harris transition team. He joined the transition from the Detroit Pistons, where he worked as vice president of business and public affairs, as well as executive director of the Detroit Pistons Foundation. He was a member of the leadership team that moved the Pistons from Auburn Hills, Mich., to Detroit in 2017.

He also served for nearly six years in the Obama White House as a political appointee, with roles in the legislative affairs, budget, and chief of staff’s offices.

Tom Kartsotis will continue to “actively guide [Bedrock] as founder,” a statement said. The former Fossil Group chairman started Shinola in 2011 and bought Filson a year later.

Plano, Texas–based Bedrock is reportedly named after the hometown of The Flintstones.

(Photo courtesy of Bedrock Manufacturing Co.)

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By: Rob Bates

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