Holger Bismann Joins Patagonia as Managing Director of Europe

Patagonia, Inc. announces the selection of Holger Bismann as Patagonia Europe’s new Managing Director. Holger will provide positive leadership and direction to Patagonia’s European business. Bismann begins his new role on December 1, 2008.
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VENTURA, Calif. (September 10, 2008) – Patagonia, Inc., the outdoor clothing manufacturer, announces today the selection of Holger Bismann as Patagonia Europe's new Managing Director. Drawing upon his thirteen-year tenure at Nike, Holger will provide positive leadership and direction to Patagonia's European business, which is based in Annecy, France. Responsibilities will include the leadership and management of Patagonia Europe's sales, marketing, production and operational efforts. Bismann begins his new role on December 1st, 2008.

Bismann comes to Patagonia from his post as Category Sales Director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Nike, Inc., where he has been integral in managing Nike's ACG sales, distribution and marketing divisions. Employed by Nike, Inc. for over thirteen years, Holger has served in several roles at the corporation, including Divisional Sales Manager, Equipment Sales Manager, Training Manager, and Sales Manager for Nike's store in Berlin. Spoken languages include English, German (his native tongue) and French.

"We are excited to have Holger joining the Patagonia team as Managing Director of Europe. His industry experience and keen business acumen, coupled with his strong belief in Patagonia's mission, make him an ideal fit for us,” notes Nate Smith, Patagonia's Vice President of International Operations. “Holger has been given the task of increasing brand visibility in Europe, along with growing the business in our current markets and developing a plan for new markets where we don't operate today. We are confident in his ability to accomplish these tasks."

In addition to his international management background, Bismann brings a personal commitment to Patagonia's core sports and mission statement. He is an active sportsman, former competitive triathlete and active skier. Holger also served as the coach of the French National Luge Team during the Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France.

"Patagonia's philosophy has always been an inspiration for my personal and professional life. Plus, the company's environmental activism has influenced all big brands within the industry and I see an enormous potential to inspire European consumers with those stories and with Patagonia's mission,” says Bismann. “Together with the European team based in Annecy, France, my goal is to strengthen Patagonia's brand position and its distribution within the entire European region and to become a strong player within the European outdoor industry. I feel really honored about the task which has been given to me."

Patagonia is noted internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism. Its Environmental Grants Program has contributed over $30M to grassroots environmental activists since the program began in 1985, and its Environmental Internship Program allows employees to work for environmental groups while receiving their full paycheck. Incorporating environmental responsibility in to product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically-grown cotton in its clothing line, and its most recent launch of synthetic fiber-to-fiber recycling – taking back its worn-out clothing and reincarnating it as new products, forever capturing the petroleum used in making virgin fiber.

Contact: Jen Rapp, (805) 667-4768, jen_rapp@patagonia.com

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