by Stephen Garner

Columbia-Store-in-NYC-Outside.jpgColumbia Sportswear Company has appointed John Christian Walbrecht to serve as president of its Mountain Hardwear brand, effective March 7. In his new role, Walbrecht will be responsible for leading all aspects of Mountain Hardwear’s global brand positioning and go-to-market product, sales and marketing strategies.

“The Mountain Hardwear brand plays an important role within our portfolio of brands that connect active people with their passions,” said Bryan Timm, Columbia Sportswear Company president. “John has spent his career building brands that connect deeply with passionate, outdoor consumers through high-performance apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment. We are confident that he will help us unlock the global potential of the Mountain Hardwear brand.”

Walbrecht has been a leader in the outdoor industry for the past 17 years. Since 2012 he has served as president/CEO of Fenix Outdoors North America, based in Boulder, Colorado, where he was responsible for the strategic direction of several well-known performance outdoor brands, including Fjällraven, Brunton, Primus and Hanwag. Prior to that, he served as president of Brandbase, Inc.; senior vice president of global sales and marketing at Spyder Active Sports, Inc. and president of Spyder Europe; and as international marketing strategist and board director for Dr. Martens in the U.S. and England.

“I am excited to join the Mountain Hardwear team and to begin evolving the strategic direction for a brand that has always stood for innovation, performance, and design integrity,” added Walbrecht. “Mountain Hardwear’s history of serving the needs of some of the most demanding and accomplished alpinists in the world is a testament to its unique DNA and to its potential to inspire and connect with consumers around the world.”