Icebreaker Names Lisa Thompson Vice President of U.S. Sales

Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, today announced that Lisa Thompson will become vice president of U.S. sales.
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Lee.Weinstein@Icebreaker.com

Icebreaker Names Lisa Thompson Vice President of U.S. Sales

Wellington, New Zealand (11 January 2010) – Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, today announced that Lisa Thompson will become vice president of U.S. sales.
 
“In the spirit of Icebreaker's global growth and expanding footprint , we are very pleased that Lisa Thompson who served as general manager of Icebreaker New Zealand -- and also known as ‘princess' -- has agreed to take on this exciting new challenge,” said Tony Balfour, general manager for global markets. “Lisa has unmatched Icebreaker experience, do-what-it-takes attitude, and a sheer passion for life, which makes her the perfect person for this role.”
 
Thompson, one of Icebreaker's most tenured and inspiring leaders, started with the company in 1999, a few months before her 21st birthday, as receptionist and office manager. She has also worked as Australian market and account manager, and has been GM of Icebreaker's New Zealand market since 2004. Thompson will report to Russ Hopcus, president of Icebreaker USA. Thompson and her husband, Phil, and their three children will relocate from Wellington, New Zealand, to Portland, Oregon, USA in February 2010.
 
“I've been with Icebreaker for more than 10 years when we had only four employees, two product ranges and 100 retailers globally. I know the brand and the product inside and out. I'm thrilled with this new opportunity and look forward to introducing more and more Americans to the benefits of Merino from Icebreaker,” said Thompson, who saw Icebreaker grow into a  household name in New Zealand.

Thompson sees great opportunity in developing strong relationships with specialty retailers, Thompson adds, “Icebreaker offers retailers unique and new business opportunities. We are a performance outdoor brand expanding into running and cycling as well as the active lifestyle category. We can help bring new customers into their stores and generate purchases of new styles like women's dresses and men's underwear in addition to our famous base layer apparel.”

She added that repeat business is an extra benefit for retailers, “People who wear Icebreaker merino become addicted, and it pulls people back into stores.” Thompson said Icebreaker will, in addition to furthering its business in the outdoor specialty channel, begin focus on new channels in the U.S., from department stores to running to lifestyle.
 
About Icebreaker: Launched in 1994, Icebreaker was the first company in the world to develop a merino fiber layering system for the outdoors. It was also the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. There are now 10 distinct pure merino fabrics in the Icebreaker system, covering underwear, mid layer, and outerwear.

Icebreaker is sold in more than 2,000 stores in 24 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Icebreaker uses only pure merino hand-picked from 120 high country stations in the country's Southern Alps to create edgy outdoor clothing that combines nature's work with human technology and design. The company is committed to sustainability, ethical manufacturing and animal welfare. In 2008 the company launched “Icebreaker Baacode,” a pioneering supply chain transparency and traceability program. Each Icebreaker includes a unique Baacode, which enables customers to trace the garment online from rearing the sheep through to each stage of the supply chain process.
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