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Former GE Leader Buys Hydra-Slide, Starts New Era


Apr. 25, 2023 – Former GE business leader Mark Cleland has acquired skidding system manufacturer Hydra-Slide Ltd. (Hydra-Slide), in a deal that signals the dawn of an exciting new era for the family-owned business from Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

A mechanical engineer who also holds a business degree, Cleland is a former management consultant and General Electric (GE) business leader who spent nearly two decades working in GE’s industrial and capital businesses.

Bringing a wealth of knowledge in operations, process improvement, leadership development, and commercial-market strategy, Cleland plans to double down in the areas that have made Hydra-Slide successful, while highlighting new opportunities to service underrepresented markets.

“This isn’t your typical M&A play,” said Cleland. “This is actually the opposite of that. Acquiring Hydra-Slide is about bringing together our shared family values and reinvesting in the beating heart of our economy — the small businesses that make the world we live in possible. I’m thrilled to help usher the company into its next chapter, which involves growing into new markets, launching new and exciting products, and continuing the best-in-class customer service for which Hydra-Slide is known.”

Founded in 2011 by Don Mahnke and his daughter, Janine Smith, Hydra-Slide has grown steadily over the last 12 years by listening to users and studying the on-site challenges faced by its customers, then innovating new products that solve them.

Smith sees Hydra-Slide’s acquisition as a crucial step driven by the growing demand for Hydra-Slide products.

“I couldn’t be happier to see Mark take the helm as we enter our next phase of growth,” said Smith. “By leveraging Mark’s considerable experience, we’re strengthening

 our customer and supplier relationships, and accelerating the commercial opportunities we see as critical to our future. This acquisition ensures we remain dedicated and promise-driven in our current relationships, while simultaneously being able to service the needs of our growing international customer base.”

Cleland is now Hydra-Slide president, Smith has transitioned into a consulting role, Mahnke continues as an advisor, and the rest of the Hydra-Slide team remains in place.


Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.