Columbia Sportswear aligns leadership with digital focus - Just Style
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Columbia Sportswear aligns leadership with digital focus

By Beth Wright 30 Oct 2020

Outdoor and activewear maker Columbia Sportswear has reshuffled its senior management team, creating a new chief digital information officer role and announcing the retirement of COO Thomas Cusick next year. 

Cusick will step down in February and transition to a part-time role, assisting with IT and supply chain initiatives until his retirement in the second half of 2021.

In line with transition plans, Lisa Kulok, senior vice president, global supply chain operations and manufacturing will become executive vice president, chief supply chain officer, and Jim Swanson will transition from senior vice president to executive vice president while continuing as CFO. Both will report to CEO Tim Boyle.

Brent Beeson, vice president apparel manufacturing, will transition to senior vice president, manufacturing, reporting to Kulok.

In addition, Columbia has made leadership changes to support its omni-channel plans for growth. 

Franco Fogliato, executive vice president, Americas general manager, will transition to executive vice president, global omnichannel, overseeing all brand sales in direct markets globally. 

Fogliato will work with channel leaders to share best practices and support global Columbia brand goals. Vice president and general manager for EMEA, Matthieu Schegg, will report directly to Fogliato, as will senior vice president for Asia direct, Peter Rauch.

To support Columbia brand e-commerce strategies, Patricia Higgins, vice president, e-commerce, will transition to senior vice president, e-commerce, reporting to Fogliato. 

Meanwhile, the company has created the new chief digital information officer role, which will report to Boyle and replace the chief information officer position when Michael Hirt retires in April 2021.

“We are announcing changes today to capitalise on Columbia’s omni-channel growth potential by aligning our organisational structure globally to accelerate our business transformation with a focus on e-commerce and digital,” said Boyle. “We see real opportunity with these changes.”

Columbia has posted lower net sales and profitability in the third quarter of 2020 compared to last year, with net sales down 23% to $701.1m from $906.8m a year ago.  Net income tumbled 47% to $62.8m from $119.3m.