With great distress we learned that Holger Bismann, the chief of Patagonia's European operations, passed away after a struggle of several months against cancer in October. He was 50 and leaves behind his wife, Christelle, and his daughters, Johanna and Helena, as well as many in the industry who admired him as a true outdoor personality and as a highly respected friend, colleague and fellow. During his career within the industry, Bismann held various positions at Nike, where he was in the end the most prominent face behind Nike ACG in Europe, a brand that he left when the big player pulled out of the outdoor business. In 2008, he became the general manager of Patagonia Europe and, later on, the chief of what is now known as EOCA, the European Outdoor Conservation Association. The latter appointment was not only natural because Patagonia is strongly committed to the protection of our globe, but also because of Bismann's own strong belief in a better life in a better world. That is reflected by the man's own biography: Reportedly, as a young man he tried to escape from his native East Germany across the Wall to make it to Western Europe. The attempt failed and he was subsequently jailed. All that he did afterward represented a strong commitment to the world as a better place to be – pretty much in line with Patagonia's own philosophy, which was Bismann's well before he joined the company. Andrea Tomasini, manager of Patagonia Italia, will occupy Bismann's position on an interim basis, aided by Jonathan Petty, the European marketing manager based at the European office in Annecy, France.