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Timothy P. Breen, president and CEO of Motion Industries, Inc., Birmingham, AL, since 2014, has died at the age of 58 after a battle with cancer, according to news sources. Several industry colleagues noted a common theme of leadership – for both his company and the greater industry at large – based on his strong people skills and approachability.
“Motion Industries has lost a great leader and the world has lost an amazing human being,” said a news release from the Motion Industries leadership team. “Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Tim have lost a dear friend and an inspiration. Tim leaves behind a great company, a great culture and a great team that he affectionately referred to as ‘The Motion Family.’ His spirit will forever live on at Motion.”
A statement by parent company Genuine Parts Company said that Motion Industries will be led be Randall P. “Randy” Breaux and Kevin P. Storer, both current executive vice presidents of the business.
35 Years with Berry, Motion
Breen began his career with Berry Bearing Company in 1982 and served there as a sales representative, branch manager, regional manager and corporate accounts manager. His responsibilities continued to grow after Berry Bearing and Motion Industries joined forces in 1993.
Breen assumed responsibility of all the U.S. locations in 2011 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. He was promoted to Motion Industries president and chief operating officer in 2013, before his promotion in November 2014 to president and CEO. With Breen at the helm, Motion Industries hit its record $5-billion sales goal at the end of 2017.
In 2017, parent Genuine Parts Company named Breen its GPC Manager of the Year, the single highest individual recognition by the company. In a statement, Genuine Parts said the company mourns the loss of its Industrial Parts Group leader. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our good friend and colleague Tim Breen,” said GPC President and CEO Paul Donahue. “Tim was a passionate leader, and he will be truly missed.”
He was active in industry and civic organizations, including as a past president of the Bearing Specialist Association (BSA) and active on committees with the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA).
“He treated the janitor with the same respect as the CEO,” said Dennis Tanrikulu, national sales manager for AMI Bearings and fellow native Chicagoan who knew Breen from the Berry Bearing days on. “He was an avid Chicago sports fan, approachable and would always make time to catch up with you. He was a hard worker who didn’t take himself too seriously, and that’s what made him so human and special – I think the industry is missing that a lot today.”
“He was the epitome of a great man and a true leader,” said another colleague close to him. “He had a passion for his work and the industry. He believed in the industry working together. He truly cared about people, whether customers, associates or suppliers, and would remember personal details about you a year later.”
“Tim will be sorely missed,” said Bob Callahan of SENQCIA MAXCO, Ltd. “He was respected by competitors and suppliers. Whether you did business with the company or not, he always had time for everybody. He built a strong team at Motion, and was able to move forward in the industry with his unique attributes in his intelligence and people skills.”
“We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved, growing the company he led and appreciating the team he loved so much," the Motion Industries news release said. "Tim’s guidance and vision have left us in a strong position to continue building the company’s success.”
Motion Industries, a distributor of maintenance, repair, and operation replacement parts, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts Company, Atlanta, GA. Motion reported 2017 revenues of $5 billion, and was No. 4 on MDM's 2018 list of the top 40 industrial distributors.
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