Columbia Sportswear Company (Nasdaq:COLM – News), a global leader in the active outdoor apparel and footwear industries, today announced changes in its management staff. Paul Gils has been appointed General Manager Europe and Mike Prendergast has been promoted to President Sorel Division.
“We are pleased to attract and promote these highly qualified and skilled professionals to their new responsibilities within Columbia Sportswear. Both will play an important role, within their respective spheres of responsibility, in enhancing Columbia Sportswear's position as a global leader of active, outdoor apparel and footwear,” said Tim Boyle, President and CEO.
As General Manager Europe, Gils will be responsible for managing all aspects of sales, marketing and administration of Columbia products in Europe. He joins Columbia following a ten year career with Nike Europe, most recently serving as General Manager Footwear, Germany. Gils held increasingly responsible operations and sales management positions during his career with Nike Europe, including General Manager Footlocker Sales. He is a native of Belgium and is multi-lingual. Gils will be based in Columbia's European headquarters which are located in Zurich, Switzerland upon his appointment effective November 15, 2004.
“Paul's strong sales management and operations background, coupled with multi-lingual skills, will prove invaluable as we focus on building our business across Europe, and particularly in Germany and other northern European markets,” commented Mr. Boyle.
In Prendergast's role as President Sorel, he will manage all aspects of the Sorel apparel and footwear brand. Prendergast brings more than 30 years of industry experience to his new role. He joined Columbia in 2002 as National Sales Manager for the Sorel division. Prior to joining Sorel, Prendergast served as SVP Sales and Marketing for Duck Head Apparel, and held similar senior sales management positions with Bugle Boy Industries and Hathaway Shirt Company. He began his career with New York based Cluett Peabody in 1970, where he held numerous sales management positions with the company, including Corporate Sales Manager of The Arrow Shirt Company. Prendergast's appointment is effective immediately.
“Mike has distinguished himself as an outstanding leader and a key contributor to Sorel's strategic direction as a senior member of Sorel's management team. His experience and business acumen will prove invaluable in the continued development of the division, as Sorel re-establishes and leverages the rich heritage of the brand,” commented Boyle.
Founded in 1938 in Portland, Ore., Columbia Sportswear Company is a global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel and footwear. As one of the largest outerwear brands in the world and the leading seller of skiwear in the United State, the Company has developed an international reputation for quality, performance and value. Sorel, a division of Columbia Sportswear Company, specializes in utilitarian footwear and apparel for outdoor industrial and recreational use. To learn more about Columbia Sportswear and Sorel, please visit their websites at www.columbia.com or www.sorel.com.