Marmot GM Joe Flannery is promoted, and will now lead Newell's technical apparel division.
Joe Flannery has left his post as general manager of Marmot to take on a new gig with parent company Newell, leading both Marmot and ExOfficio.
His new title is Newell Brands Senior Vice President and General Manager of Technical Apparel. Mark Martin, longtime president of Marmot, has left the company.
In his new job, Flannery said his primary focus at the outset will be to continue the legacy of the two brands, which have been profitable and grown steadily except for Great Recession years in which much of the industry stagnated.
Flannery also sees an opportunity—and critical need—to grow the bases of both brands. This year was the first in nearly 20 years, outside of the Recession, that the outdoor industry has seen a decline, he said, adding that consumer participation has shifted: Yes, there’s a growing number of people taking one- or two-night camping trips or casually hiking in our national parks, but fewer people identify with the ethos of the hard-core, aspirational outdoorists that are so often pictured in ads.
Newell Brands has a long history of expertly analyzing consumer market trends, Flannery said, which gives him confidence in the future growth of the two companies he now manages.
"We will exponentially increase our focus on selling experiences, and adventures that are attainable,” Flannery said. He also plans to expand and place a greater emphasis on the brands’ existing campaigns to drive more people outdoors.
As demographics change, and interest in outdoor activities shifts, it has become pressing for the outdoor industry to hook young children on nature. That's a personal passion for Flannery, but also a matter of survival for the industry.
“For the first time, I would say the changes in climate, as well as sport participation and activity in the outdoors, is starting to have an adverse affect on our business,” Flannery said. “It’s not just the right thing to do, but the critical thing to do.”
Currently, there are no plans to fill Flannery’s previous position as Marmot GM, though Brian Thompson will continue his role as GM of ExOfficio.