Black Diamond Establishes Management Team to Support Gregory’s Japanese Operations
For Immediate Release
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – (October 15, 2012) – Black Diamond, Inc. (NASDAQ: BDE) (the “Company” or “Black Diamond”), a leading global provider of outdoor recreation equipment and active lifestyle products, has made several new hires to support its Gregory Mountain Products (“Gregory”) operations in Japan.
On September 28, 2012, Black Diamond signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Japanese distribution assets of Gregory from Kabushiki Kaisha A&F (“A&F”), the exclusive distributor for Gregory in Japan. Beginning January 1, 2013, Gregory intends to assume all of its own sales, marketing and distribution functions in Japan.
“To prepare for the transition, we have hired key executives to drive our Gregory business in Japan, an important strategic market for Black Diamond’s long-term growth objectives,” said Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Black Diamond.
Black Diamond welcomes outdoor industry veteran Mori Hikari as general manager of Gregory Japan. Mori brings more than 20 years of industry experience, including eight years with Goldwin as the general manager of The North Face business in Japan. Most recently he also served as a director of Goldwin, the North Face liscensee. Before joining The North Face in 2004, he served as a merchandising manager for O’Neill Far East, prior to that as specialty store manager and product manager for REI Japan. Mori began his career with Patagonia Japan, serving numerous roles over the course of seven years, including sales representative, logistics manager and store manager.
“In addition to Mori’s impressive breadth of experience in all aspects of the specialty outdoor business, he is a passionate outdoor enthusiast, including a lifelong climber, mountaineer, backcountry skier, trail runner and surfer,” continued Metcalf. “He brings a unique blend of outdoor industry experience, insight, relationships and energy to lead the establishment of Gregory Japan and the broader Black Diamond platform in Japan.”
Mori commented: “As a climber and mountaineer, I have long admired Black Diamond products for their beauty and performance along with its passion to continually innovate and seek new challenges in the active outdoor market. The opportunity to join this global team, while launching the new platform for an established and admired brand such as Gregory, is an incredible opportunity and one that complements my professional background.”
Joining Gregory Japan as sales manager is 15-year outdoor industry veteran Ken Kinbara, who most recently worked at A&F as Gregory’s brand manager. In addition, three members of the former Gregory Asia Pacific office will become immediate additions to the team. Haruhiko (“Harry”) Kondo will assume the role of marketing manager and has worked with Gregory for over 10 years, serving in various roles including consultant and manager of the Asia Pacific office. Takuji Sasaki will continue his duties as marketing coordinator and Kenjiro Nakajima will take on the role of product and sales analyst.
Naoko Kojima has been hired as controller for Gregory Japan. Beginning in 2008, she served as the finance and operations manager of Lancel Japan, a division of the luxury goods holding company, Richemont. Prior to Lancel, she worked with Accenture Japan in a variety of consulting projects.
Teddy Herryanto has been hired as IT site manager. Prior position was with Pacific Consulting Tokyo Japan. Previous employment was with Nippon Cable Corporation dating back to 2008.
Metcalf concluded: “The primary focus for Mori and the team is to insure a smooth start-up for Gregory Japan, continue to develop the AP specific product range that has been successful in this market and to provide an outstanding level of service for our valued retail partners. However, in the months and years ahead, we expect to add functions and brands as part of our broader strategic vision. We anticipate other Black Diamond brands, including the recently acquired European-based POC and PIEPS, will benefit from support and other synergies offered by the Gregory Japan platform.”
Gregory Japan’s new headquarters will be located in the Soko Building at 24 Kaigandori 4-chrome, Naka Ward, Yokohama. The site was once occupied by a warehouse that the Company is remodeling to suit its progressive style. With approximately 4,200 square feet of office space, Gregory Japan plans for 20-25 employees by the end of 2013.
There are no plans to alter the existing Black Diamond Equipment branded gear distribution structure that the Company has with its long-time Japanese partner, Lost Arrow.
About Black Diamond, Inc.
Black Diamond, Inc. is a global leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of innovative active outdoor performance products for climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing, cycling and other outdoor recreation activities for a wide range of year-round use. The Company’s principal brands, Black Diamond®, Gregory™, POC™ and Pieps™, are iconic in the active outdoor industry and linked intrinsically with the modern history of these sports. Black Diamond is synonymous with performance, innovation, durability and safety that the outdoor and action sport communities rely on and embrace in their active lifestyle. Headquartered in Salt Lake City at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, the Company’s products are created and tested on some of the best alpine peaks, slopes, crags, roads and trails in the world. These close connections to the Black Diamond lifestyle enhance the authenticity of the Company’s brands, inspire product innovation and strengthen customer loyalty. The Company’s products are sold by leading specialty retailers in the U.S. and 50 countries around the world. For additional information, please visit the Company’s websites at www.blackdiamond-inc.com, www.blackdiamondequipment.com, www.gregorypacks.com, www.pocsports.com or www.pieps.com.