Robert McCoy is the new president of Grizzly Industrial, succeeding founder Shiraz Balolia, now the company’s chairman and CEO.
“Shiraz is and was a consummate businessman who operates with fairness and integrity for his employees, vendors and customers,” McCoy, a 30-year veteran with the company, said in a statement. “His legacy is one of hard work, dedication and innovation, and he created opportunities for countless individuals and families through his business ventures.”
Balolia started Grizzly Industrial in the spring of 1983 after his hobby of refurbishing and selling metal lathes took off. He discovered a great demand for quality machinery at an affordable price, so he developed relationships with factories overseas and began to import new machines under the Grizzly name. In those early years, Balolia did it all, from accounting, to marketing, to cleaning the floors, to delivering machines in person to customers, in his Volkswagen van, according to the company.
Over the next 37 years, Balolia successfully built Grizzly from a one-employee operation, to the first tool and machinery company with its own website (grizzly.com), to a huge business with nine-figure sales, employing over 300 people in multiple showrooms and warehouses in the U.S. and in company offices in Taiwan and China. Grizzly now has the largest selection of woodworking and metalworking machinery under one brand in the world and remains the only direct-to-consumer industrial machinery company in the United States.
“I appreciate Shiraz’s integrity, vision and direction in leading the company over the last thirty- seven years,” said Juan Hernandez, senior vice president of Grizzly Industrial. “I have great respect for his dedication and leadership in transforming Grizzly Industrial into the industry leader.”
In his new role, Balolia will be able to maintain a flexible schedule that will allow him to spend time with family, enjoy his hobbies, and reflect on the life he built and the lives he improved along the way, the company said.