News Provided by Evan Hoopfer, Dallas Business Journal
June 24, 2020
PlayPower Inc., a prominent figure in the playground equipment manufacturing industry, is making North Texas the new home for its corporate offices, the company’s CEO told the Dallas Business Journal in an exclusive interview.
“The DFW talent pool is exceptional, and I found that through different career stops along the way for me even before PlayPower,” said Bryan Yeazel, the company’s CEO. “We’re a company that believes that talent wins ballgames.”
PlayPower has 1,700 employees with approximately 1,200 in the U.S., Yeazel said. He declined to disclose the company’s revenue. A research note from Moody’s earlier this year estimated PlayPower’s annual revenue at around $600 million.
PlayPower makes playground equipment for municipal parks and corporate customers, such as fast food chains. The company is made up of several different brands, like EZ Dock, which makes floating docks and other water products, and major playground equipment names, including HAGS Play, which operates in Europe, and Little Tikes Commercial.
Another one of those subsidiaries, USA SHADE, has long been based in North Texas and recently moved into a new facility near Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Yeazel said in connection with USA SHADE’S move, he decided to base the PlayPower executive team in North Texas.
“We’re a relatively lean corporate structure and the people who are on my team tend to spend a whole lot of time on the road,” Yeazel said. “I wanted to find a space where they can travel relatively conveniently to anywhere in the U.S.”
PlayPower’s new North Texas facility at 2580 Esters Blvd. technically sits on the property of both DFW Airport and the City of Irving, an airport spokesperson said, adding that it lies in the free trade zone of the airport.
Yeazel declined to say the headquarters were moving from Huntersville, N.C. — a Charlotte suburb — to North Texas, instead saying the corporate offices will be based in DFW. Yeazel said he’ll spend time in both Texas and North Carolina going forward.
Yeazel took over as CEO of PlayPower more than a year ago and has been working on bringing talent to the company’s executive ranks. The company recently brought on four new executives that will all be based in North Texas:
- Earl Jewett, chief operating officer
- Cary Glay, executive vice president and chief financial officer
- David Starr, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary
- Danielle Garde, chief human resources officer
The company will employ about 200 people in the facility near the airport and there are 15 corporate positions that also work out of the property.
“We expect that over time we will increase the number of corporate positions that are based in Dallas,” Yeazel said. “We have excellent facilities in Charlotte, N.C., as well, which we expect to continue operating in a very robust way. But we expect that, as our executive team gets their feet on the ground in Dallas and the company continues to grow, we would love to be part of Dallas’ growth story.”