With unemployment rates continuing to rise, the hiring of new personnel throughout the sporting goods industry paints a slightly more positive picture in a time of need. 

Nike, Inc. said Jeanne P. Jackson, 57, a member of its Board of Directors since 2001, has been named to the newly created role of President of Direct to Consumer for the company, effective immediately. In her newly created position, Jackson will drive Nike, Inc.’s global retail efforts which include Nike-owned retail stores worldwide, its affiliate retail stores and its digital commerce organization.

Jeff McGuane has been appointed president of Cannondale Sports Group North America. Formerly president of CSG International, McGuane is now charged with driving the CSG business in North America from its Bethel, CT office. The company also announced that Bob Baird, president of Dorel’s Recreation and Leisure Sector will become the acting president of CSG International.

PUMA appointed Klaus Bauer as a member of the board of management, effective Aug. 1, 2009, and said he will assume the newly created position of chief operating officer (COO). At the same time, chief financial officer (CFO) Dieter Bock (50), who has been with PUMA since 1979 and a member of the board of management since 2005, will resign from the board due to his personal life planning.

Newton Running appointed Stephen Gartside as the company’s president. Gartside will run the day-to-day global operations of Newton Running, based in Boulder, and work closely with Newton’s founders, Danny Abshire and Jerry Lee. Gartside has more than 20 years of experience directing sales and marketing teams for AT&T and Colorado-based software company, Evolving Systems.

Kelly Grindle, group vice president of Marine Electronics for Johnson Outdoors, has also assumed leadership of Johnson Outdoor’s Watercraft paddle sports division. As a result, Mark Leopold, group vice president of Watercraft, is leaving the company.  As group vice president of Marine Electronics, Grindle's responsibilities include all business functions of the Minn Kota, Humminbird, Cannon and Geonav brands. Grindle joined Johnson Outdoors in 1999 as vice president – mergers, acquisitions and strategic planning, and was named to his current position in 2000.

EMU Australia has appointed Andy Knowles as CEO of Europe. Knowles comes to EMU after working with VF Corporation in the UK where he managed its major denim brands and successfully repositioned and grew Lee. Prior to VF, Knowles worked for Nestle and Cadbury Schweppes.