Columbia Sportswear Names New GM for Korea

Columbia Sportswear Names New GM for Korea

Columbia Sportswear Company appointed a former Adidas executive  to serve as general manager of the company’s wholly owned subsidiary in Korea, where bloated inventories are causing problems for many  outdoor product companies.

Effective May 18, Han-Bo Shim, will be responsible for establishing and executing sales, distribution, and marketing strategies for the company’s family of active brands, which are sold to Korean consumers through a network of more than 250 dealer-operated, branded, outlet and shop-in-shop locations, as well as the company’s ecommerce business.

Columbia reported April 30 that an inventory glut in Korea contributed to a 23 percent decline in sales at it Mountain Hardwear during the first quarter ended March 31. It is among several brands to report challenging conditions in Korea, which is the second largest market in Asia for many international outdoor brands.

Shim, 53,  brings more than 25 years of financial and operational leadership experience in the Korean athletic consumer goods market, having served the past ten years as vice president and managing director of TaylorMade Golf’s Korean operations. In this role, he developed and executed growth strategies for the company’s four golf brands spanning equipment, footwear, apparel and accessories. For five years prior to TaylorMade, he served as chief financial officer of Korea for Adidas AG. In each of those roles, he led the development and successful execution of profitable multi-brand product and marketing strategies that drove growth and enhanced profitability.

“We are delighted to welcome Han-Bo to the Columbia Sportswear family,” said Bill Tung, Columbia Sportswear’s vice president of international distributors and Asia-direct markets. “He brings a wealth of relevant experience in multi-brand and financial management within the Korean market.”

Han-Bo Shim added, “I am honored and energized by the opportunity to join Columbia Sportswear at this important time as the company seeks to extend its legacy of leadership in the Korean active outdoor market.”

Shim will succeed HR Cho, who has served as the company’s general manager of Korea since early 2012, and who will remain through the end of May to facilitate a smooth transition.