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SNEWS® had a nice chat with Mark Hammersley recently and learned that his departure was very mutual and not sudden or unexpected as far as Lowe Alpine or he were concerned — despite what everyone in the industry, including SNEWS®, might have imagined. Indeed, a glance at our notes from an interview with Hammersley when he was hired in August 2000 to head up the Active Sportswear Division of William Baird reveals much about why Hammersley decided to move on. His role when hired was to run a division that consisted of Lowe Alpine and Tenson, and grow the division through investment and acquisition. Clearly, that is not a viable strategy at the moment for Baird and, since Tenson is up for sale as part of Melka Tenson, Hammersley’s role had changed sufficiently that both he and Ruth Henderson, Baird’s CEO, concluded it was time to make a change. Hammersley told us that he firmly believed the Lowe Alpine brand has brought excellent people into the business, particularly in the U.S., has made the right organizational and strategy shifts, and now has fantastic potential to re-emerge as a leading brand in the U.S. in the next couple of years. SNEWS® View: It is likely we’ll hear from Hammersley again as a leader with another industry brand and we are sure he will be missed at Lowe.