Richmond, Calif. and Portland, Ore. - Mountain Hardwear Inc., a leading mountaineering, outdoor equipment and clothing company, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company (Nasdaq:COLM), today named Kirk Richardson to serve as interim president while the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement for co-founder and president Mike Wallenfels, who has resigned to pursue other professional opportunities.
Richardson, a 30-year industry veteran, has served as general manager of Columbia Sportswear's footwear division since joining the company in December 2008. Prior to Columbia, Richardson served as president of Keen Footwear, following a 27-year career with Nike where he held various footwear and apparel leadership positions. Richardson is himself an avid climber and mountaineer and has devoted significant efforts to a number of conservation-focused causes to protect and enhance habitats for the benefit of all outdoor enthusiasts.
"We're fortunate to have a proven leader like Kirk to step in and guide Mountain Hardwear during this important transition," said Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear. "We believe the Mountain Hardwear brand has tremendous potential. We will be looking for a proven leader who understands the high performance demands of Mountain Hardwear's consumers and who can help the brand realize that potential."
Mike Wallenfels co-founded Mountain Hardwear in 1993 and continued as president of the brand after Columbia purchased the company in 2003. "Mike has been a solid source of leadership and continuity for Mountain Hardwear," said Boyle. "We appreciate all that he has done in building the Mountain Hardwear brand from its inception and growing the company's annual revenues to within reach of $100 million. We wish him great success in his future pursuits."