Seven months after being named president of Mountain Hardwear, John Walbrecht has accepted the same title at competitor Black Diamond Equipment Ltd.
On Tuesday, Columbia Sportswear Co., which owns Mountain Hardwear, said Walbrecht resigned to pursue opportunities closer to his family. Bryan Timm, president of Columbia Sportswear Co., will oversee day-to-day management of Mountain Hardwear while the company undertakes a search for Walbrecht’s successor.
Prior to his role with Mountain Hardwear, Walbrecht served as president and CEO of Fenix Outdoor, an international group of outdoor clothing and equipment brands. He has also served in senior leadership roles at Spyder Active Sports, Timberland and Dr. Martens, among others.
“John is a seasoned industry veteran who brings a wealth of experience and leadership in the outdoor equipment and apparel space,” Black Diamond Executive Chairman Warren B. Kanders said. “Over the course of his 30-plus year career, he has provided the strategic vision to improve brand equity and drive growth for some of the industry’s most reputable and dynamic companies. Given his strong background, we look forward to leveraging his expertise and enthusiasm as we continue to grow Black Diamond Equipment. I would like to thank Mark Ritchie, our outgoing president of Black Diamond Equipment, for his dedication and years of service. Mark will be assisting John in his transition and working with the team in additional ways in the future.”
“It is truly an honor to be joining the Black Diamond team,” said Walbrecht. “Black Diamond is an amazing brand with a strong culture in both the outdoor and climbing communities and prides itself on delivering technical precision in everything it does. Black Diamond has a very bright future and I am excited to be a part of it.”
“I want to thank John for his intensity and leadership and, together with the rest of the management team, wish him success in his next adventure,” said Timm in Columbia Sportswear’s statement. “While we carry out a succession process to identify the brand’s next leader, I will assume a more active role in day-to-day management working alongside the Mountain Hardwear leadership team, who are, themselves, proven industry leaders and brand builders. Over the past several months, we have been setting in motion many foundational aspects of our strategy to revitalize the Mountain Hardwear brand and are committed to continuing along that strategic course.”
Walbrecht holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Brigham Young University, a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from the University of Maryland and understudies in International Trade and Finance at Cambridge University – Trinity College.