Samsonite restructures its Gregory and High Sierra teams

Consolidations, shifts and a reduction of 10 positions brings many of Gregory and High Sierra's responsibilities under one umbrella.

Samsonite is restructuring its recent outdoor pack acquisitions — Gregory Mountain Products (bought from Black Diamond in 2014) and High Sierra (bought in 2012) — consolidating, shifting and eliminating some positions, officials tell SNEWS.

“After much due diligence, the decision has been made to consolidate some operational functions of the two organizations, said Dawn Sicco, who will help lead the two brands as general manager and vice president. “By bringing the High Sierra and Gregory teams together, we’ll be able to operate more efficiently and provide our valued partners with more success and profitability.”

The biggest changes come at Gregory, where its sales and marketing operations will move to High Sierra’s offices in Vernon, Ill., while its customer service teams will shift to Jacksonville, Fla. Gregory’s product design and development staff will remain in Salt Lake City under the direction of John Sears, who will take the role of vice president of design and development. Sears has been with the brand for a dozen years and will lead a staff of about 10 in Salt Lake City.

John Burns joins the company as vice president of sales for Gregory and High Sierra, while Brian Block, part of High Sierra’s team since 2013, moves up to director of Samsonite’s Outdoor Channel, which includes the two brands. He will be assisted by Eric Helfrich, formerly a key accounts rep for Black Diamond, Gregory and Poc Sports.

The moves result in a reduction of about 10 positions, Sicco said. Gregory Director of Sales and Marketing John Pieper and Key Account Manager Drew D’Acquisto are assisting with the transition before moving on, she added.

Sicco said parent company Samsonite remains in acquisition mode, looking to further grow its outdoor presence.

“We see great growth potential in the outdoor industry, both here in the United States and on a global scale,” she told SNEWS.

--David Clucas



Black Diamond sells Gregory to Samsonite

Black Diamond Inc. announced this morning that it will sell its Gregory Mountain Products brand to Samsonite for $85 million. The deal is expected to be finalized ahead of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show, set to take place the first week of August in BD's home state more


Kat Schoewe Q&A: Today’s female outdoor enthusiasts aren’t looking for ‘me-too’ product

Having spent eight years leading the outdoor design group at L.L.Bean and doing what she loved, Kat Schoewe never thought she’d leave. But in 2009, when the challenge came from Under Armour to “build a design team that could innovate in the outdoor space,” she tells us she more


High Sierra and CITYPAK Project help the homeless carry on

Vernon Hills, Illinois, July 2, 2013 – International adventure travel gear manufacturer, High Sierra and the Chicago-based CITYPAK Project have partnered to design and distribute backpacks to the homeless. Founded by Chicago philanthropist Ron Kaplan in 2012, the CITYPAK Project more


Trade show jockeying: Grassroots to expand its events; Outdoor Retailer considers location/date changes

The outdoor trade show season could take on a new schedule in the coming years. The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance recently announced it plans to expand its semi-annual trade shows to include double the brands and retailers (with former Outdoor Retailer Show Director Kenji more

Sierra Logo Vert 1-2C

Sierra Designs scraps existing product lineup in reboot for 2014

Sometimes it’s best to start with a clean slate. That’s the thinking over at Sierra Designs, where officials gave SNEWS an exclusive sneak peek at a reboot of the brand with an entirely new team, philosophy and product lineup to debut at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. This more


Gregory Miller Q&A: Find out how to get outdoors more with the entire family

Think back to your earliest outdoor memories — those images that have stuck with you and encouraged you to keep heading out in the rain, snow or shine. They likely involve parents, grandparents, siblings or cousins. They introduced you to nature, educated you about the land and more


Exxel Outdoors acquires American Rec, including Kelty, Sierra Designs

Exxel Outdoors, known best for its U.S.-made sleeping bags, has acquired the American Recreation Products family of brands, including Kelty, Sierra Designs, Slumberjack, Ultimate Direction and Wenzel. The deal will bring back some U.S. manufacturing for some the industry’s more


Black Diamond lays off key personnel in apparent restructure

Black Diamond has laid off employees at its U.S. headquarters in Salt Lake City as part of apparent restructuring at the company, SNEWS has learned. While the exact number isn’t available, at least a dozen people are suspected to have lost their jobs or are moving on, several more


Newton Running Restructures Sales Team to Support Rapid Growth

Tom Curran moves into new role as Director of Sales, Specialty Running (Boulder, Colo.)—Newton Running, the leading developer of athletic footwear designed to support and strengthen natural running motion, is restructuring its sales team to support the brand’s ambitious growth more