How MTD Products shepherded an impossible product to market

roykeatingWhen he took over a new role as Vice President of Business Development in 2012, Roy Keating understood that he was being handed a big mission at Ohio-based MTD Products: to help the privately-held manufacturer accelerate its growth coming out of the recession. “We wanted to do more breakthrough technology, and launch things that were unique to the market — not keep playing a zero-sum, dog-eat-dog game with the competition,” Keating says.

troy-bilt-lgOne of the first products to emerge from MTD’s new emphasis on breakthrough technology is the Troy-Bilt FLEX — a multi-function, all-season engine with attachments that can turn it into a leaf blower, power washer, lawn mower, or snow-thrower. It began showing up in Lowe’s stores this spring.

Here’s how Keating got MTD, founded in 1932, to take on a project that some inside the company thought was impossible.

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