This week saw several top tier executive moves in the outdoor and sporting goods industries. Late on Friday, Polartec, LLC announced that Andrew Vecchione would be taking over as the new president of the company. Vecchione had been serving as COO for the past three years. He took over the helm because Michael Spillane, who managed the company through its transition out of bankruptcy (See BOSS_0712), decided to accept a position with Nike, Inc. as president of the Converse brand.
Spillane said, “Given all that has been accomplished over the last three years and the recent successful conclusion of our financial restructuring, it was the right time to pursue the fantastic opportunity presented to me at Converse. Under the new ownership of Chrysalis Capital Partners, Polartec is now a healthy and efficient company that is ready to move beyond the last decade of transition and financial uncertainty. I am confident that Andy Vecchione along with Executive VP Jonathan Adelman will continue expanding Polartecs position as a global leader in technical fabric, and I look forward to supporting their progress in my continued role as a board member.”
The second big move involved former Mountainsmith CEO, Geoff OKeeffe, who left the brand following its merger with Blackstone Investment Group earlier this year. OKeeffe was appointed president of Slumberjack, which simultaneously announced that the company will be moving to the Boulder, Colo. area.
OKeeffe said, “I am pleased to join the fine team at Slumberjack. This brand has an excellent history and considerable traction in the market and we are well poised to enhance our presence and prestige. Operating as a team, thinking strategically and approaching business as science are all competitive requirements these days, and I see the commitment to these essential disciplines in our leadership. Im excited to accomplish our move and get rolling.”
OKeeffes official start date was April 23, 2007. Slumberjacks new corporate headquarters will be fully operational during the fall of 2007. Some of the current team will be relocating, while others will remain in the St. Louis office in different support roles.
Lastly, Isis named Evan Wert as the brands new VP of sales. Wert has worked in sales and marketing in the outdoor industry since 1983. Most recently, he was director of sales and marketing for Bite Footwear, in the Outdoor and Specialty markets. Prior to this he was the vice president of marketing for Superfeet insoles of Ferndale, Wash.
Carolyn Cooke, co-founder and president of ISIS said, “Evan brings enormous sales and marketing experience to the position. He understands our vision for the brand and is adept at selling to and servicing the winter sports and outdoor markets.”