There are “credible reports” this afternoon that Kevin Brittingham, founder and head honcho at Advanced Armament Corp., was escorted from AAC’s Atlanta-based factory by company security this afternoon. Escorted, as in “fired,” “let go,” “spending more time with the family.” Kevin has had some prior scuffles with Freedom Group, the company that bought Advanced Armament in 2009 for oodles of cash and is the gigantic corporate owner of brands like Remington and Marlin among others. But there was nothing to indicate a possible leadership change at AAC might be in the works. We flew down to AAC HQ a few months back and interviewed Kevin (full interview here), but here’s the part that might interest you…
Kevin on Freedom Group’s management style:
It’s one thing I struggle with them, and for Freedom Group or Cerberus or Remington, they give us a ton of autonomy. We’re actually under Remington Defense, we’re autonomous to a large degree with lots of things. But of course I always want more freedom and this is a struggle for them, but it’s kinda practice what I preach. It’s not like I want things like I want them to lease me a Ferarri or something, it’s like… I give my employees, and Robert Silver, I give him lots of latitude. He and I butt heads a lot, but I give him lots of latitude but I know he’s brilliant and I really respect him, and he’s not wrong a whole lot. He’s an odd dude, and he’s weird to work with, and he’s strange like most people that smart but I love him, and every year he comes up with an idea that makes this company a million bucks. Every year. […] It was kind of a struggle when they first acquired us, and then, we had to sort of classify him and they wanted to put him at a certain pay scale and him to report and to be here and all this, and me trying to explain to them that to me, I own this business and I appreciate the money and understand how money is made and it’s like… What is our goal? It seems like the goal is for you guys to micromanage people and my goal is for us to make money. We do that differently than most of their factories, we do it through innovation, and our margin is really great.
There’s a rumor that Kevin has been replaced by a Freedom Group employee named John Day until a permanent replacement can be found.
How will this affect AAC’s business? Will they continue to be as awesome a company as they are now? Will there be more managerial coups d’etat at other Freedom Group holdings? Only time will tell.