EXECUTIVE CHANGES: The outdoor conglomerate Columbia Sportswear Company has revealed that one of its key brand leaders is stepping down due to health reasons.
After 16 years with the company, Mark Nenow, president of the Sorel brand, has resigned “in order to focus on his health,” according to a statement issued by Columbia Friday afternoon.
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Last year he led Sorel to net sales of $347 million, said Columbia Sportswear’s chairman, president and chief executive officer Tim Boyle. “His leadership has been invaluable to this company, and we wish him the very best.”
During an earnings call last year, Boyle enthused about how Sorel’s sneaker styles and wedges “contributed to phenomenal demand and brand heat.” As such, Columbia revealed plans to invest more deeply in product and demand creation with the aim of Sorel becoming a $1 billion brand. At that time the company said it expected Sorel to be its fastest-growing brand, with a 20 percent to 22 percent expected compound annual growth rate over the next three years. That was a key component in the Portland, Oregon-based sportswear company’s goal of adding more than $700 million in net sales by 2025.
Another in-house executive, Craig Zanon, senior vice president of emerging brands, has stepped in to take on Nenow’s former responsibilities, as the company searches for his successor.
Nenow joined the company in 2007 to head up its footwear division. In the years that followed he worked to evolve the Sorel label from a men’s winter work boot specialist to a more fashion-inclined year-round women’s-led brand. He took on the top leadership job eight years later and zeroed in on the functionality of Sorel’s boots, sandals, sneakers and other styles.
With Nenow at the helm in 2015, the Sorel Capsule Apparel Collection — parkas and jackets for men and women — debuted. Many of the same features found on its line of footwear such as heavy-duty clasps and triple-sewn stitching were incorporated into the collection. More recently, Sorel’s headquarters moved into a single-use building on Columbia Sportswear’s main campus in Washington County in Oregon.
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