Garmin names COO Pemble as CEO

Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:23am EST

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Navigation device maker Garmin Ltd named Chief Operating Officer Clifton Pemble as chief executive, succeeding co-founder Min Kao.

Pemble, who joined Garmin in 1989 as one of the company's first engineers and has been serving as COO since October 2007, will start in his new role from Jan. 1.

Kao will assume the role of executive chairman, and continue to serve as the chairman of the board.

Garmin has been fighting sluggish demand for its GPS-enabled handheld navigation devices as smartphones loaded with free mapping apps invade its market, and it is betting on outdoor and fitness products to drive growth.