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Mark Satkiewicz leaves Smartwool, heads to TOMS

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After 10 years with Smartwool, former president and general manager Mark Satkiewicz has resigned to start a new career with TOMS

Former Smartwool president Mark Satkiewicz, man in cycling gear leaning on a road bike. In black and white behind him are three other cyclists
Mark Satkiewicz poses with his team before the Smartwool Ride to OR. Photo by Ben Fullerton.Ben Fullerton

After 10 years with Smartwool, Mark Satkiewicz resigned Aug. 2, effective immediately, and departed the Summer Market.

Smartwool and parent company VF Corporation confirmed his resignation, but declined further comment.

“Those are all personal decisions that we won’t discuss,” said Scott Baxter, VP of VF Corporation and group president of outdoor and action sports. “He had a great career here that we’re very proud of, and we’re very happy for him and wish him nothing but success.”

Satkiewicz could not be reached for comment Thursday, but left on “very good terms,” according to Baxter.

Satkiewicz started as Smartwool’s VP of sales in 2007 and was promoted to president in 2009, before VF Corp. bought the company in 2011. He has been on the Outdoor Industry Association board since 2013 and encouraged other brand CEOs to sign the Camber Outdoors pledge to make their workplaces better for female employees.

“He’s been a great partner to our organization,” said Deanne Buck, executive director of Camber Outdoors. “I’m sure he’ll take his passion for cycling and running and outdoors to his new role at TOMS and do for them what he did for Smartwool.” TOMS is a private, California-based purveyor of footwear and apparel; the company did not respond to inquiries.

Satkiewicz is a master of bringing people together around a common cause, said Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA, and he has always made industry goals a priority.

“Even though he obviously had a lot of responsibilities at Smartwool, he’s been one of the board members who makes time,” Roberts said, adding that he helped her personally as she transitioned into her role as executive director.
“I really hope he’s able to stay on the board.” However, board seats are only available to companies that are members of OIA and TOMS is not.

Under Satkiewicz’s leadership, Smartwool became a key partner for Camber Outdoors, and well-known for its healthy company culture and inclusiveness for women.

“That guy has brought so much to the table,” said Zach Branson, an independent sales rep and co-owner of Mountain Source, a rep agency. “He is just a phenomenal leader. He makes you want to go the extra mile for the brand, and you don’t want to let him down or the brand down … He made you care and have a family attitude about the brand.”

Smartwool is full of talented people who will continue to move the company forward, Baxter said, and he doesn’t expect anything to change radically. The Smartwool ride to OR (see p. 20) will continue in the future, according to Molly Cuffe, global brand marketing director for Smartwool.

“I think it was the right time for him,” Cuffe said. “I think it was the right time for his family.”

Baxter said he feels confident about the brand’s future. It has not been determined whether the search for a new president will be internal, external or both.

“We have a really highly talented group of people that are here at Smartwool,” Baxter said. “We will move forward.”

–Aaron Bible and Kristin Hostetter contributed additional reporting

This story first appeared on page 7 of the Day 3 issue of Outdoor Retailer Daily.