Bruce Akin to retire after decade as B.A.S.S. CEO
Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. for the last ten years, is to retire at the end of September. He will be replaced by the organisation’s current Chairman, Chase Anderson.
During Akin’s tenure, B.A.S.S. recorded growth in almost every facet of its business, including membership, viewership, readership and digital engagement.
Attendance at both the Bassmaster Classic and Elite Series events reached record levels, junior high school and kayak tournament trails were introduced and the Redfish Cup was revived.
Akin had planned to retire last year, but deferred his decision to steer the organisation through the pandemic. He was named among the Birmingham Business Journal’s ‘Executives of Influence’ for 2020.
Perhaps Akin’s biggest challenge was the formation of the rival Major League Fishing (MLF) Tour in late 2018. But he remained steadfast, telling Angling International: “Our belief is that bass fishing fans still prefer the proven format that rewards those anglers with the skill to catch the heaviest five-bass limit each day and weigh them in before a live audience.” The Bassmaster Classic has recorded record attendance figures since the launch of the new MLF format.
B.A.S.S. was acquired by Anderson Media Corporation in 2017 and Chase Anderson was appointed Chairman.
“Bruce has been instrumental in growing B.A.S.S. over the past decade and has demonstrated a tireless dedication to serving our associates, anglers, members, fans and business partners,” said Anderson.
“His leadership has been instrumental in positioning B.A.S.S. as the growth-focused industry leader we are today. Thanks to Bruce’s solid guidance, we are better positioned for the future and focused on being the leader in the sport fishing industry for many years to come.
“I have been working directly with our associates, anglers and business partners for the past four years and look forward to working more closely with everyone in a more hands-on capacity.”