SixAxis LLC announced today that Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Rob Honeycutt, will step down from his current role at the end of 2021. The company’s Board of Directors appointed Jeff Reichert, president of the company’s SafeRack brand, to succeed Honeycutt as CEO effective Jan. 1, 2022.
Honeycutt will remain a key member of the Board of Directors, providing unparalleled insight and guidance to the company, drawing on his nearly 20 years of experience leading the firm.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Executive Management Team and the approximately 500 SixAxis employees, we want to thank Rob for his leadership, vision and impact on the organization in creating a world-class operation, from its inception to what it is today,” said SixAxis Executive Chairman Ken Walker. “The Board is sincerely grateful to Rob for his dedication to SixAxis as CEO, and we are looking forward to his continuing input and oversight at Board level.”
Reichert’s selection is the culmination of a robust, multi-year leadership development and succession planning process that helped create a strong management team with depth in all functions, ensuring a seamless transition.
“The combination of the talented SixAxis leadership team, the customer-driven durable end-market commercial portfolio that has been created, as well as a strong balance sheet, has positioned SixAxis for continued success through this transition and beyond,” added Walker.
“It has been an honor to be the co-Founder and CEO of SixAxis since its inception,” said Honeycutt. “I want to offer my sincere thanks to Fred Harmon, my partner and friend, and to our employees whose hard work and dedication have allowed us to achieve so much over the last 20 years.
“I also want to thank our customers, shareholders and the Board of Directors for their ongoing support,” added Honeycutt. “I have worked with Jeff for many years and know firsthand that he will be an excellent leader for SixAxis. I look forward to working closely with Jeff and the Board to execute the exciting plans we have in place.”
“I want to thank Rob for his visionary leadership and guidance at SixAxis, as well as the Board for its confidence in me, as I step into this role,” said Reichert. “I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to work with our talented leadership team and employees around the world to advance the SixAxis growth strategy.”
Honeycutt’s humble beginnings began with a childhood filled with adversity, and relocating dozens of times around the Southeast. He did not complete college, and instead became a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman in rural South Carolina before finally finding his spiritual home in industrial sales with an equipment company located in Florence, S.C. He quickly rose to become one of the company’s top salesmen while still in his early 20s.
It was during this time that Honeycutt met his future business partner, Fred Harmon. They founded SafeRack and launched their first brand of products in 2002 and 2003, then started growing the company while facing almost impossible odds. The passionate vision involved investing nearly everything they had into a catalog of products, all while embracing customers with unparalleled care and solving complicated safety and productivity problems.
Honeycutt and Harmon assembled a small group of believers, and together they overcame start-up and unpredictable growing pains. SafeRack opened its dedicated manufacturing facility in Andrews, South Carolina, in 2005. With limited cash flow, they began operations on mostly dirt floors and began to carve out a reputation for providing innovative safety solutions for the truck and railcar loading industry – with unmatched customer service.
Their customer-centric philosophy and persistence prevailed. They began to dominate the marketplace and built the SafeRack brand into the world’s premier provider for loading-terminal safety equipment. During this time Honeycutt succeeded at bringing to life a world-class manufacturing facility to support the continued growth of the company. As an out-of-the-box thinker with no preconceptions, he was able to secure dozens of patents that would enjoy double-digit annual growth to this day.
Over the past two decades, Honeycutt and Harmon oversaw the development of many successful additional brands and products within the industrial safety space. Many are used in facilities around the world today, such as ErectaStep (the patented modular access platform and stairs system) and YellowGate (the patented industrial safety gate line of products).
During this journey the pair also founded a unique software company, creating sales and CRM tools to enable customers to visualize their proposed solution ahead of receiving a quote for the product. This dramatically improved the collaborative and consultative sales process, about which Harmon and Honeycutt are both so passionate. While neither are involved in the software business today, the company still operates in Charleston, South Carolina, and the solutions developed for (and with) SixAxis are still being used to support continued growth in many industries.
The company’s main offices remain in their Andrews manufacturing plant. Other teams such as Engineering and Customer Service work out of an office in Sumter, South Carolina, while an office in England supports international sales. More than 60 sales professionals are located across the U.S. serving North American customers.
In June of 2021, SixAxis acquired Upside Innovations of West Chester, Ohio, further expanding the SixAxis product family to include ADA-compliant ramps and stairs. While the markets served marginally overlap those already enjoyed by SixAxis, the complementary products present further growth opportunities and strong penetration points into the modular building industry.
The dirt floor days are gone, and SixAxis employs nearly 500 people. The company has expanded to over 300,000 square feet of high-tech manufacturing space and enjoys a multi-national sales footprint in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 customers have worked with SixAxis, and over the last 20 years more than $1billion worth of equipment has been supplied around the world, improving Safety and productivity for our workforce. And the company is still less than 20 years old.
Honeycutt resides in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, along with his wife Julie and their daughters Elizabeth and Mary.