Mammut Sports Group CEO Rolf G. Schmid will resign after 16 years of leading the Swiss outdoor brand as soon as parent company Conzzeta AG can hire his successor.

Schmid will step down as CEO and from Conzzeta Group’s executive committee once his successor joins Mammut. He is then expected to continue advising the company as a consultant. Mammut and Conzetta, which also controls several industrial businesses, are both based in Switzerland.

Schmid joined the Conzzeta Group 20 years ago as head of the sports division of what was then Arova Mammut AG. He took over as CEO of Mammut Sports Group in 2000. In 2003, he spearheaded the formation of the European Outdoor Group, where he ended a two-year term as president in March.

In addition to working with Mammut, Schmid plans to offer his services as a freelance consultant in the areas of business management and strategic marketing. He will also take up appointments to boards of directors.

“Rolf G. Schmid has helped establish Mammut as a strong and successful brand,” said Ernst Bärtschi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Conzzeta AG. “He has been behind spectacular marketing campaigns that have had a great impact in the industry and beyond. We are grateful that Rolf G. Schmid will stand by Mammut Sport Group during the transition and that he will continue to support the implementation of the agreed strategy in an advisory role. We wish him every success in his future career.”

Mammut’s operating earnings plunged last year on a 1.7 percent decline in currency-neutral sales the company attributed to falling sales in Europe that easily offset double-digit growth in North America and Asia. To cut costs, Mammut outsourced rope manufacturing and adopted a five-year plan that calls for it to partner more closely with major retailers and distributors and expand the number of owned and franchised Mammut stores, which now number 75. None of those are in North America.

Photo courtesy Mammut