Columbia Sportswear has announced a reorganization of its top management, describing it as a move to drive continued profitable growth. The group expects the company's sales to expand at double-digit rates for apparel in constant currencies this year, compared with $1.7 billion in 2014, while footwear sales are predicted to surpass $500 million in constant currencies, against nearly $425 million last year.
As part of the changes, Tim Boyle remains in the chief executive's seat that he has occupied since 1988, but Bryan Timm has taken over Boyle's function as the company's president from Feb. 25. Timm has been the group's executive vice president and chief operating officer since 2008 – a second function that he is keeping. This involves supervision of the company's wholesale business in North America, as well as retail sales in North America and Europe. At the same time, Timm will continue to lead global sourcing, supply chain and distribution operations. He also directs the brand managers at Mountain Hardwear and Prana, the apparel brand acquired by Columbia Sportswear last year.
Peter Bragdon has assumed the new title of executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel. He has been with the company for 13 years, since 2010 as the senior vice president of legal and corporate affairs, general counsel and secretary.
Meanwhile, Tom Cusick has become the group's executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer. He climbed the ranks in the group in the last twelve years in various financial functions, serving as senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer since 2010.
Boyle described both Bragdon and Cusick as trusted advisers who have taken part in many of the company's most important strategic moves in recent years, such as Columbia's joint venture in China and its acquisition of Prana. They and Timm are reporting directly to Boyle.
Columbia Sportswear has also reorganized its business to have more distinct teams and approaches for the Columbia and Sorel brands. Joe Boyle, son of the company's chief executive and grandson of Gert Boyle, has been appointed to the new position of vice president of Columbia brand merchandising and design, in charge of product creation for all major categories of Columbia products. He has been at the company for ten years, the last two of them as vice president of apparel merchandising. He was lauded for his work at Performance Fishing Gear (PFG), one of the group's sub-brands, and for leading the broad resurgence in Columbia apparel.
Mark Nenow has become president of the Sorel brand, a new function where he supervises global brand direction and product creation. Nenow has served as vice president of global footwear merchandising and design for Columbia, Sorel and Montrail footwear since he joined the company in 2007. He was credited in particular for championing Sorel's transformation into a year-round brand, focusing on trendy female consumers. This strategy was said to be behind a 30 percent increase in the Sorel brand's sales in 2014. Its turnover has more than tripled since 2007. Both executives will continue to report to Tim Boyle.