Bruce Akin retired after 10 years as CEO at B.A.S.S., and he left his mark in the bass fishing world. Following are comments from co-workers and people in the industry.
B.A.S.S. Chairman Chase Anderson
In 2017, Anderson Media Corporation purchased a controlling stake in B.A.S.S., with Chase Anderson moving from Dallas to Birmingham to serve as Chairman. Anderson will take over Akin’s CEO duties.
“On a personal side, I can say how much I enjoyed working with him, developing a great friendship. He’s been a great mentor for me. He’s taught me a lot about B.A.S.S., the industry and the sport. He’s just a solid, steady leader. He has done a really good job in making decisions, and giving people respect both in the company and the industry. He’s been a respectful voice and I think people value his opinion.”
On Akin’s sound leadership after losing 60 Elites.
“I remember him saying, ‘Stay the course, implement B.A.S.S. Class,’ and focus on being better and changing what we can. Follow that principle that’s been a part of the organization for many years. A lot of corporate executives said we took the high road.”
On Akin’s key role in negotiating the FOX TV deal.
“He was good at explaining the sport to the FOX executives to emphasize why it was good for them. He was professional and did a great job leading the talks, conveying why LIVE needed to be on FOX Sports.”
On fun road trips with Akin, who he acknowledged always knew the best places to eat, including his local favorite in Birmingham.
“Bruce loves good food. He’s a foodie. I know he’s going to pick the right food. Always picked the wine at meals and I trusted it would be a good selection. Gianmarcos is his go-to. He’s the mayor there. I look forward to seeing the mayor of Gianmarcos around.”