New Opportunity: Director of North America Finance at Columbia Sportswear

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The Company

columbia sportswear 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 prAnagrown into an industry icon with almost $3 billion in annual sales. As a global company, its brands are now sold in approximately 90 countries.

Former Chairman Gert Boyle was at the helm for nearly 50 years, and her “Tough Mother” persona helped Columbia grow into the global sportswear brand it is today.

mountain hardwearBack 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 soreland 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.

Key Statistics

Revenues: ~$3 Billion   |  Mkt Cap: ~$6.86B   |  Ticker: COLM (Nasdaq)
Employees: ~7000   |  Global Distribution: Wholesale, Company Owned Retail locations, eCommerce

The Position

The new role will drive and develop financial operations of the Columbia North America businesses including US & Canada Wholesale and Direct to Consumer (DTC). Continuously identify and recommend all necessary actions to improve the short and long term financial performance of the business.

This position reports directly to our Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis.

Responsibilities

  • Partner with our commercial leaders and engage thorough analysis and insights regarding the regions actual and planned financial performance. Engage with the finance organization in conducting rigorous analysis of actual and planned financial performance to identify opportunities, risks and underlying business issues. Leverage this information to articulate major themes, business trends, and to proactively address problems and develop action plans.
  • Manage and oversee the development of financial plans including long-range plans, budgets and forecasts.
  • Lead and develop actionable insights and analyses in written, graphical, and verbal formats to inform and empower senior leadership across the organization.
  • Articulate financial plans and business cases to executive leadership, informing related decisions including strategic initiatives, marketing, capital expenditures, headcount and other forms of investment.
  • Engage directly with sales leadership and other cross-functional partners to develop forecasts and support ongoing operational decisions.
  • Drive value creation through helping the business make better operational and strategic decisions.
  • Provide accurate and timely reporting of all key financials.
  • Proactively identify, evaluate and drive opportunities to reduce costs.
  • Interaction with Global Functions (e.g. Tax, Treasury, Commercial Finance, Global FP&A, Global Accounting, Corporate Real Estate)

Leadership & People Management

  • Communicate complex financial information and concepts to both financial and business leaders to support and influence decision making with an ability to speak at the detailed and summary levels.
  • Set objectives and manage workload and results to achieve goals while adopting best practices and having a continuous process improvement mindset.
  • Develop a strong team that operates with focus, drive for results, works well with others and does what’s right.
  • Act as a role model to four direct reports (management level)

Job Scope

The job involves a high degree of complexity and frequently involves new and varied work situations. This is a new position and will be responsible for establishing practices, procedures and process improvements. Duties are performed independently with minimal supervision and work is checked or verified sometimes visually and/or by results. Decisions are made in close consultation with other leaders of financial, accounting and business processes. Position has high visibility due to the nature of risks being managed. Errors in judgment or work performance could result in risk exposures that are not financed or mitigated.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Strong business acumen and financial background.
  • Strong expertise in forecasting and analysis, development and utilization of management information and key performance indicators.
  • Ability to review, analyze and interpret complex data and business transactions and related financial/accounting guidance and form relevant conclusions.
  • Ability to manage in a matrixed organization, including ability to effectively build and manage relationships and influence others at all levels of an organization.
  • Outstanding communication and influencing skills, that allow them to work with technical and nontechnical teams, translating sophisticated problems into clear solutions.
  • Ability to express ideas and opinions to all levels of personnel, including management in various business units, while effectively soliciting cooperation to accomplish tasks and challenge ideas and the status quo.
  • High sense of organization and precision.
  • Project and process management skills.
  • Ability to lead, motivate, and develop Finance team.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to connect and manage across borders.

Requisite Education & Experience / Minimum Qualifications

  • University degree in business or finance management
  • Minimum of 15+ years relevant experience in Finance/Senior Leadership positions
  • International experience and track record
  • Language skills: fluent in English spoken and written

Interested in learning more?

180one is a retained search firm and has been engaged by Columbia Sportswear Company to manage this search. If interested in learning more about the opportunity, please contact Matt Oltmann at 180one.


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