Patagonia, Inc. announced the selection of Holger Bismann as Patagonia Europes new managing director. Drawing upon his thirteen-year tenure at Nike, Holger will provide positive leadership and direction to Patagonias European business, which is based in Annecy, France. Responsibilities will include the leadership and management of Patagonia Europes sales, marketing, production and operational efforts. Bismann begins his new role on Dec. 1, 2008.
Bismann comes to Patagonia from his post as category sales director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Nike, Inc., where he has been integral in managing Nikes ACG sales, distribution and marketing divisions. Employed by Nike, Inc. for over thirteen years, Holger has served in several roles at the corporation, including divisional sales manager, equipment sales manager, training manager, and sales manager for Nikes store in Berlin. He speaks English, German (his native tongue) and French.
“We are excited to have Holger joining the Patagonia team as managing director of Europe. His industry experience and keen business acumen, coupled with his strong belief in Patagonia’s mission, make him an ideal fit for us,” notes Nate Smith, Patagonias VP of international operations. “Holger has been given the task of increasing brand visibility in Europe, along with growing the business in our current markets and developing a plan for new markets where we dont operate today. We are confident in his ability to accomplish these tasks.”
In addition to his international management background, Bismann brings a personal commitment to Patagonias core sports and mission statement. He is an active sportsman, former competitive triathlete and active skier. Holger also served as the coach of the French National Luge Team during the Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France.
“Patagonia’s philosophy has always been an inspiration for my personal and professional life. Plus, the companys environmental activism has influenced all big brands within the industry and I see an enormous potential to inspire European consumers with those stories and with Patagonia’s mission,” says Bismann. “Together with the European team based in Annecy, France, my goal is to strengthen Patagonia’s brand position and its distribution within the entire European region and to become a strong player within the European outdoor industry. I feel really honored about the task which has been given to me.”