New Opportunity: VP of Financial Planning and Analysis at Columbia Sportswear

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The Company:

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.

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.

The Position:

Columbia Sportswear Finance & Accounting teams oversee the financial health and forward strategy for a portfolio of four global brands. These teams exercise expertise across Compliance, Credit, Financial Planning and Reporting, Tax, Treasury, Procurement and Strategy. Advancing traditional Finance & Accounting functions, the organization is also driving exciting innovation in the application of advanced analytics and automated intelligence.

As the Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) you will lead all aspects of Columbia Sportswear Company’s global financial planning and analysis activities with the objective of enabling profitable growth. Engaging with business leaders throughout the Company, you will be responsible for driving long-range financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting activities as well as management reporting and profitability analysis. The FP&A team will be critical to advising, influencing, and supporting business/financial decisions to drive sustainable and profitable sales growth.

Within this role you will partner with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to inform and advise the senior executive team regarding the Company’s financial performance, financial plans, and major investment decisions. Additionally, you will play a meaningful role supporting preparation and presentation of information for Board meetings, and support preparation of the Company’s earnings releases including financial guidance.

Your leadership responsibility will include the management and mentorship of a group of finance professionals encompassing corporate, brand, region/channel, supply chain and other finance teams. You will report directly to our Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer.

How You’ll Make a Difference:

  • Leadership – Provide leadership to the Company’s Global FP&A team which is responsible for supporting our brands, regions/channels and major functional business areas. Develop organizational priorities and goals to drive focus and motivation across the team. Additionally, proactively engage with broader finance leadership team to support cross-functional projects and other activities.
  • As a manager and coach, you will exercise leadership of FP&A team through a combination of empowerment and coaching with the objective of encouraging staff development and elevating team performance. Maintaining a highly motivated and engaged team is a key success factor.
  • Executive engagement will be required as you lead the development of financial presentations to support SLT and Board meetings. Here you will leverage analytical and presentation skills to identify and tell key storylines and themes to enable thorough understanding of performance and isolate key issues and decisions.
  • You will also lead the development and execution of the Company’s major financial planning activities including long-range plans, budgets, forecasts (including earnings guidance) and product margin planning. Engage with executive leadership and strategic planning teams to drive connectivity between top-down financial objectives and strategic priorities with bottoms- up financial plans.
  • Revenue and Inventory Planning – Partner closely with key stakeholders in Planning, Regional Sales (wholesale and retail), Merchandising and others to contribute and influence the development of sales and inventory plans. Actively engage with Supply Chain Operations program leadership to enhance the effectiveness (plan quality and accuracy) of these processes. Participate in executive leadership meetings related to sales and inventory forecasts as well as Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) that lead to inventory purchase decisions, allocation of inventory between regions/channels and liquidation of excess inventory.
  • Financial Performance Analysis – Engage with the finance organization worldwide to conduct 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. Lead Quarterly Financial Reviews (QFR) with finance leadership team (CFO, CAO, etc.) to understand financial performance, evaluate impact to financial outlook and frame key storylines in preparation for executive updates, Board meetings and earnings calls.
  • Decision Support – Partner closely with the CFO and other stakeholders to inform and provide insights regarding the Company’s financial performance and financial plans. Leverage this information and influencing skills to support executive decision making including, but not limited to, strategic initiatives / major projects, capital expenditures, real estate investments, personnel related decisions, product margins, inventory purchases, demand creation spending and other forms of investment/spending.
  • Quarterly Earnings Release Support – Engage closely with the CFO and Director of Investor Relations to provide reporting, analysis and financial guidance for quarterly earnings releases and conference calls. Anticipate information needs and investor questions to conduct and prepare supporting analysis. Participate in earnings release drafting sessions to contribute to the development of the earnings release, CFO commentary and CEO script. Provide support during quarterly earnings release conference call and engage in post-earnings call discussions with investment analysts.
  • Management Reporting and Profitability Analysis – Enhance the Company’s management reporting and profitability analysis capabilities including, but not limited to, sales and profitability performance by brand, region and channel. Leverage this information to effectively inform leadership and to influence investment decision making.
  • Finance & Enterprise Data and Analytics – Lead the evolution of data and analytics within the Finance function and contribute to broader enterprise data and analytics efforts (engaging with Enterprise Analytics Team). Develop a vision and plan of execution to establish a team/resources and to align on purpose and focus of finance data and analytics.
  • Scenario and Contingency Planning – Develop and maintain financial scenario models and assessments of business risks and opportunities in order to inform executive management, anticipate changes in business/financial performance and consider contingency plans.

You Are:

  • Able to demonstrate superior business and financial acumen, and effective support and influence of executive-level decision making
  • An advanced problem-solver with the ability to identify potential and/or existing issues, evaluate available options and recommend corrective action. Your resolution method includes the ability to compute quantitative and qualitative analysis and financial models
  • A strong leader with the ability to shape and drive global strategic agendas, and effectively communicate and influence outcomes in a highly cross-functional and complex organizational environment
  • Agile and able to translate abstract concepts into defined objectives
  • Capable of managing cross functional teams, and multiple projects in tandem
  • A natural leader and mentor to teams of professionals
  • A visionary, defining objectives for direct teams, providing opportunities for individual and team development, cross-training, and learning
  • Results oriented with an aim to foster a culture of relentless improvement
  • Relationship focused, engaging across functions within the company, and acting as a trusted business partner and advisor to the leadership team
  • Dependable, advocating for Columbia Sportswear Company, the Finance Department, and your team

You Have:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required; MBA or advanced degree is highly preferred
  • Minimum of 10 years of leadership experience in corporate finance, financial planning & analysis, or related fields
  • Extensive team management experience for large and diverse teams with both on-premise and remote employees, including teammates in international locations

Interested in learning more? 180one is a retained search firm engaged by Columbia Sportswear to conduct this search. If interested in learning more about the opportunity, please contact Lisa Heffernan at 180one at 971.256.3076 or lisa@180one.com.

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