Michael Happe

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Class of 2024, United States
President and CEO of Winnebago Industries

Share the joy of Michael Happe’s winning moment at Entrepreneur Of The Year™ United States.

Michael Happe is connecting people to the outdoors by enabling extraordinary experiences.

Since becoming President and CEO of Winnebago Industries in 2016, Michael Happe has transformed Winnebago Industries from a single-brand motorhome company to a leading North American manufacturer of premium outdoor recreation products that connect people to the outdoors and to each other. 

Michael charted an ambitious new path for Winnebago Industries by building and growing a portfolio of leading outdoor brands, including the flagship Winnebago brand; Grand Design RV, one of the fastest-growing RV brands ever; and Newmar, a respected luxury motorhome brand. He also navigated the company’s entrance into the marine market with the acquisition of Chris-Craft, the iconic boatbuilder, and Barletta Boats, a top pontoon brand. Most recently, the company acquired Lithionics Battery, an innovative lithium-ion battery solutions provider, adding a key strategic vertical. 

Through Michael’s visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to creating extraordinary outdoor experiences, Winnebago Industries quadrupled its RV market share, nearly quadrupled its revenue, and achieved a five-fold increase in operating income and market capitalization from 2016 to 2023. 

He and his team are also building a safe, engaging and inclusive work environment where more than 6,000 employees can thrive. Michael established measurable sustainability commitments and signed the UN Global Compact in 2021. He revitalized the Winnebago Industries Foundation, growing community giving 20 times over and establishing nonprofit partnerships to protect the outdoors and promote outdoor access. Michael and Winnebago Industries truly live by the calling to “Be Great, Outdoors.”   

Outcomes matter, but people matter more. The relationships we build with those who carry the load with us will have lasting impact and add to our legacy.