PORTLAND, Ore. & TOKYO — Columbia Sportswear Company (Nasdaq:COLM), a leading innovator in active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment, announced today the appointment of Massimo Lazzari as president of Columbia Sportswear Japan, a wholly owned subsidiary, effective immediately.
As president of Columbia Sportswear Japan, Lazzari will be responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s brand positioning, sales and marketing across the company’s wholesale and retail operations in Japan. He will lead these efforts for each of the company’s major brands, including Columbia®, Mountain Hardwear®, Sorel® and Montrail®. He will be based in Tokyo and report directly to Bill Tung, Columbia Sportswear’s vice president of Latin America/Asia Pacific (LAAP).
Lazzari, 44, brings 20 years of executive experience in the Japanese branded apparel and footwear industries, having led companies ranging from start-ups and turnarounds to overseeing the Japanese operations of major Italian fashion brands such as Ferragamo, Tod’s and Miss Sixty. Originally from Italy and a graduate of the University of Torino, Mr. Lazzari wrote his graduation thesis on the Japanese Distribution System for Consumer Goods and has spent his entire 20-year professional career in Japan.
“We are delighted to welcome Massimo to the Columbia Sportswear family,” said Tung. “During his career, he has demonstrated the ability to manage both wholesale and retail business models with a focus on strong brand positioning, operational efficiency and profitability.”
“I am honored and energized by the opportunity to lead Columbia Sportswear’s market strategies in Japan,” said Lazzari. “I look forward to working with the global Columbia team to pursue the tremendous growth potential represented by each of the company’s innovative outdoor brands.”
Lazzari succeeds Toshio Sano who plans to retire March 31, 2011 after serving as president of Columbia Sportswear Japan since November 2004. During his tenure, the company’s net sales in Japan grew at a compound annual growth rate of more than 17%, making it one of the fastest-growing and best known outdoor companies in the Japanese market.
“We are deeply indebted to Toshio for his years of leadership and devotion to growing our business in Japan and wish him a very long and enjoyable retirement,” said Tung.
About Columbia Sportswear Company
Columbia Sportswear Company is a leading innovator in the global outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment markets. Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia products are sold in more than 100 countries and have earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance. Columbia products feature innovative technologies and designs that protect outdoor enthusiasts from the elements, increase comfort, and make outdoor activities more enjoyable. In addition to the Columbia® brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns outdoor brands Mountain Hardwear®, Sorel®, and Montrail®. To learn more, please visit the company’s websites at www.columbia.com, www.mountainhardwear.com, www.sorel.com, and www.montrail.com.