As a leader in the global active lifestyle apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment industry, Columbia Sportswear Company has assembled a portfolio of brands dedicated to connecting active people with their passions. In addition to the Columbia brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns the Mountain Hardwear, SOREL and prAna brands.
Founded in 1938 as a small hat company in Portland, Oregon, Columbia Sportswear Company today has grown into an industry icon with almost $3 billion in annual sales. As a global company, its brands are now sold in approximately 90 countries.
Company Chairman Gert Boyle has been at the helm for nearly 50 years, and her “Tough Mother” persona helped Columbia grow into the global sportswear brand it is today.
Back in 1938, Gert’s parents were immigrants who fled Nazi Germany and settled in Portland, where they purchased a small hat manufacturer, naming it the Columbia Hat Company after one of their new home’s iconic rivers. This humble beginning marked a newfound freedom and a fresh start for the family. The business eventually passed from Gert’s father to her husband Neal, and then to Gert herself when she went from housewife to executive overnight after Neal’s sudden passing in 1970. Today, Gert’s son Tim Boyle is Columbia Sportswear Company’s longtime President and CEO, and her grandson Joe Boyle serves as Columbia Brand President.
Still based in Portland, Oregon, the company is dedicated to making no-nonsense apparel, footwear and accessories to keep consumers warm, dry, cool and protected — no matter what. Defined by its innovative gear, Pacific Northwest heritage, irreverent spirit and family business ethos, Columbia’s products continue to gain worldwide recognition, enabling them to unlock the outdoors for everyone.
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