Mark Blackwell, the Vice President for Polaris Industries, announced his retirement to be effective at the end of 1st quarter of 2014. Mark Blackwell was a leading rider in the early days of motocross in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He won the 1971 American 500cc Motocross title (a predecessor of today’s AMA National Motocross Championship) by being the top-scoring American in the Trans-AMA Series. He also scored a victory in the 500cc motocross class at Daytona International Speedway in 1972.
Blackwell was one of the first American riders to compete in the Motocross World Championships during the early 1970s. Perhaps even more influential than his racing exploits were Blackwell’s contributions as a manager in companies such as Suzuki, Husqvarna and later, Victory.
Blackwell’s announcement this week also included a note that he won’t seek reelection as Chairman of the Board of the Motorcycle Industry Council when his term ends early next year. In a letter addressed to industry colleagues, he wrote” “My time and work with Polaris have been the best of my life,” said Blackwell, “And I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given and the support I received. Clearly, Polaris is a great company with an outstanding board of directors, senior leadership team and employees. I firmly believe that the alignment of ownership and incentives combined with the corporate culture are among the best of any company in the world.”