International outdoor apparel and footwear manufacturer Columbia Sportswear Company (Nasdaq:COLM) has appointed Bill Berta as interim general manager of the company's Sorel division. Berta joined Columbia Sportswear in 1996 as manager of footwear sales for the United States. He will manage the sales and product direction of the Sorel brand while maintaining his current responsibilities as manager of Columbia's US footwear sales. "Thanks to Bill's efforts, Columbia has experienced dramatic growth in its footwear business," said Bob Masin, general merchandising manager. "His expertise will be essential in growing the Sorel business, while providing continuity between the management of the Columbia Sportswear and Sorel brands." Prior to joining Columbia Sportswear, Berta worked for Wolverine as key account manager and was the national sales manager for Hi-Tech Sports. Columbia acquired the Sorel trademark rights, associated brand names and other related intellectual property rights for approximately $8 million in cash. The transaction closed September 22, 2000, and Columbia intends to offer a limited group of Sorel's key styles for fall 2001.