Columbia Sportswear Company announced that Ed Howell has resigned as Global President — Sorel to return to the east coast to be closer to his family. Sean Beers, Director of Operations, and Mike Prendergast, National Sales Manager, will continue to manage the Sorel team while a search is conducted for a successor.

“Ed has been an outstanding member of Columbia's executive team for the past two years, and we thank him for his contributions to Sorel and Columbia Sportswear. His leadership has made a lasting impact on Sorel. We are pleased with the strength of Sorel's existing management team, designers and merchants, and the overall strategic direction of the Sorel division,” commented Tim Boyle, President and CEO.

“I have enjoyed working with and developing the Sorel team, and am confident that I am leaving the organization in very capable hands,” said Ed Howell. “I look forward to the continued success of the Sorel division.”

The company also announced that Bill Berta has been named National Sales Manager – Footwear to direct U.S. sales efforts for Columbia branded footwear. The Company has launched a search for a VP – Footwear to manage global footwear design and merchandising.

Berta is a veteran footwear sales manager with nearly 20 years of sales and merchandising experience. He has served as the General Manager of Columbia's footwear division since 2001, and will continue to manage the division on an interim basis. In his new role, Berta will assume the responsibilities of an existing vacated position.

“Bill has done an impressive job of directing a talented team of footwear designers and merchants who have built a firm foundation for Columbia branded footwear sales. We will now leverage Bill's strong sales management expertise to direct our domestic footwear sales efforts,” commented Bob Masin, Senior Vice President of Sales and Merchandising. “The opportunities for our footwear products are significant and we have identified the footwear product category as a key growth driver for Columbia.”