SmartWool Corporation, a mountain based apparel brand, today announced it has restructured its Leadership Team in an effort to better position the company for increased global growth. In doing so, three internal candidates have been promoted to fill the newly created positions of General Manager, International Business; Chief Financial Officer; and Vice President, Value Chain.
The reorganization of the SmartWool Leadership Team is focused on improving and further aligning two primary areas of focus – international business and enabling functions. The change will better position the company to achieve its overall goals while also providing the continuity of strong leadership across all business facets.
“Global brand consistency at every level is imperative for us to achieve our goals as a company. We want our partners to experience the same SmartWool service and branding no matter where they may be located – London, Beijing or Denver, Colo.,” stated Mark Satkiewicz, SmartWool President and General Manager. “This restructuring will create a strong foundation for growth and maximize the opportunities for increased consumer connections with the SmartWool brand.”
Chris Hahn has been promoted to fill the role of General Manager, International Business. In his new role as General Manager, International Business, Hahn will oversee day-to-day operations for both the Europe and Asia Pacific teams. His primary focus will be creating consistent go-to-market strategies for both regions including sell-in, maximizing brand awareness and activation, and driving the SmartWool service model to all retail partners outside of North America.
“I’m honored to lead these teams of dedicated, passionate and talented people. I am committed to bringing stability to the teams and clarity to our global partners while offering a deeper insight into the SmartWool® brand,” explained Hahn. “This change signifies the importance we place on our international relationships and brand development in those regions. We will continue to invest heavily in all areas of customer service, sales and marketing as we drive toward being the number one Merino wool brand throughout Europe and the Pacific Rim.”
Well known as someone who embodies the SmartWool® brand and spirit, Hahn has been with the company for more than six years. In 2008, he was promoted to General Manager, Europe, where he led the company’s initial international push. While leading the European business, the team saw double digit business growth by improving its overall service model. In 2009, Hahn was promoted to Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and returned to the global headquarters in Steamboat, Colo., to build an infrastructure capable of significant global growth.
Hahn has vacated his current role of CAO and will be moving back to London with his family immediately to assume his new role. The CAO position has been split into two new roles: Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Value Chain.
Bob Ranftl has been promoted to the role of Chief Financial Officer. He is now responsible for SmartWool finance and IT, as well as project management and global forecasting. Ranftl has been with the company for two years as controller and has been a trusted member of the Leadership Team.
“Since moving to SmartWool, I have learned this is an incredible company with a talented group of people and a significant amount of opportunity ahead of it,” said Ranftl. “I’m excited to be more engaged as a higher level strategic thought partner and overall business leader within the company.”
Ranftl has led his team through a complete upgrade of the company’s financial processes which resulted in improved financial reporting functions and more consistent analytics. He has also been the strategic lead in restructuring the SmartWool finance and accounting departments. Prior to working at SmartWool, Bob was controller at Lakeshore Learning Materials and Intercontinental Art, Inc.
Additionally, Les Wong has been promoted to Vice President, Value Chain. In this role, Wong will focus on providing partnership-level service to our global partners of the SmartWool value chain. He will also work with the SmartWool product development team to help enable the company’s ongoing drive toward innovative product design.
“SmartWool is on a rapid growth and innovation curve,” explained Wong. “SmartWool’s supply chain must be positioned strategically to provide the necessary innovation and technical capabilities to meet global demands. This new role provides a great opportunity for me to lead a passionate and smart group of individuals in the work of fulfilling those supply chain needs.”
As Director of Sourcing, Wong has led numerous changes over the last 12 months in the company’s supply chain operation which have resulted in significant improvements at each link of the chain. Prior to working at SmartWool, Les worked in operations and supply chain roles for AT&T, Lucent, and Cadbury Schweppes.
All changes are effective immediately. For more information about the SmartWool Corporation, the SmartWool team and its products log onto www.smartwool.com.
# # #
ABOUT SMARTWOOL: Based in Steamboat Springs, CO, SmartWool is an apparel brand whose products are inspired by living and playing in the mountains. The company offers year-round apparel for an active life lived in unpredictable mountain climates. SmartWool® products are created to get the most out of the inherent benefits of Merino wool while delivering extraordinary comfort through intelligent and thoughtful products; allowing mountain athletes to do what they love to do longer. For information on the full range of SmartWool® products or to find a dealer near you, please log onto SmartWool’s award winning website: www.SmartWool.com. SmartWool Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Timberland Company.