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Mammut seeks new CEO after Oliver Pabst’s exit

The leadership move follows the April sale of Mammut to the British private equity firm Telemos Capital.

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Five months after being sold to a new owner, Mammut Sports Group AG is on the hunt for a new CEO.

The company on Friday said CEO Oliver Pabst will step down, and Greg Nieuwenhuys, Mammut’s chairman of the board, will serve as interim executive chairman. A search for Mammut’s new CEO is underway.

“Under Oliver Pabst’s leadership, the company has developed successfully over the last five years and made significant progress in areas such as internationalization, digitalization, and sustainability,” the company said. “In the last 18 months, Oliver Pabst has skillfully steered the company through the challenging period of the pandemic. He will stay involved with Mammut as a senior adviser to the board and the company will continue to benefit from his knowledge and experience.”

The leadership change follows the April announcement that the iconic Swiss outdoor brand was trading hands. Mammut’s former parent company, Zurich-based Conzzeta AG, followed through on its previously announced divestment plan and sold the gear and apparel maker to British private equity firm Telemos Capital.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Conzzeta said in a statement that “the sale price reflects Mammut’s strong positioning as a leading global outdoor brand, as well as the considerable progress it has made in recent years in systematically overhauling the product range, digitalizing the business model and optimizing the cost structure.”

Regarding his exit from Mammut, Pabst said, “It has been a great pleasure and a privilege to lead this fantastic team and brand over the last five years. We can be very proud of what we have achieved. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this success. The change of ownership marks the beginning of a new era. Greg and the team of Telemos Capital know and value the Swiss DNA and the fantastic strengths of the brand and I am sure, together with the excellent Mammut team and fresh ideas, they will lead the company into a successful future.”

Pabst indeed guided Mammut through a difficult period of Covid-19. The company’s 2020 sales were CHF 218 million (US$233.8 million), and the brand posted a strong first quarter of 2021.

Sales in the period of CHF 64.5 million (US$69.2 million) marked increases of 26.9 percent on a reported basis and 28.2 percent on a currency-neutral basis from the year-ago period. As expected, Mammut’s new PE owner didn’t report the company’s Q2 sales.

“We would like to thank Oliver for his valuable contributions to Mammut,” said Philippe Jacobs and Jacob Polny, members of Mammut’s board on behalf of Telemos Capital. “Thanks to his great work and leadership, we have been able to acquire a company with a strong foundation and growth potential. We now look forward to working with Greg and the Mammut team to take the company to even greater heights in the coming years. Greg is well-positioned to lead the company through this next phase given his more than 10 years of leadership experience in the outdoor sector and his passion for mountain sports.”

Nieuwenhuys also contributed a comment about Pabst’s departure, adding: “I am grateful to Oliver for all the great things he has done for Mammut. He has a remarkable eye for talent and developing people and teams. I am excited about working with all the people at Mammut to bring its high-quality products and brand experiences to even more outdoor enthusiasts around the globe.”