US outdoor apparel and footwear specialist Columbia Sportswear has named Joe Vernachio as brand president of its Mountain Hardwear outdoor equipment and clothing company.

Vernachio who will take over the reins on 3 April, most recently served as global vice president of product and operations at The North Face.

In his new role, Vernachio will be based at Mountain Hardwear's headquarters in Richmond, California, where he will lead all aspects of the company's global brand positioning, go-to-market strategies and execution across all distribution channels. He will report to Columbia Sportswear president Bryan Timm.

"Joe brings a unique combination of product creation and global operations expertise to his new role, making him ideally suited to the role of brand president," says Timm. We are proud to welcome Joe to the leadership team and look forward to working with him to unlock the global potential of the Mountain Hardwear brand, which plays an important role within Columbia Sportswear Company's portfolio of brands that connect active people with their passions."

Prior to his tenure at The North Face, Vernachio served for six years as COO and senior vice president of product and sourcing for Spyder Active Sports, four years as vice president of product for 120-store Canadian retail chain Roots, and 12 years in product development and category management with Nike, during which he helped launch the company's branded outerwear programme.