Friday, March 12, 2010

Ultrarunner Topher Gaylord Takes the Helm At Mountain Hardwear

Many of us know 41-year-old Topher Gaylord as a seasoned ultrarunner, with finishes at UTMB, Western States, Top 10 at the Miwok 100k, 4th at the TNF Challenge 50-mile, and many others to his credit. A few of us may also know him from crewing for his speedy wife, Kim, or as the guy in the Race for the Soul movie who blew up and came back from the dead for a sub-24 hour finish. But did you also know he’s the President of Mountain Hardwear? Yup, as of this week.

Free shwag for everyone! (ha, ha)

Columbia Sportswear Company Announces Appointment of Topher Gaylord as President of Its Mountain Hardwear Subsidiary

20-year Outdoor Industry Veteran Brings Rich Global Brand-Building and Operational Experience

PORTLAND, Ore., March 1, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Columbia Sportswear Company (Nasdaq:COLM), a global leader in active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment, announced today the appointment of Topher Gaylord as president of its wholly owned subsidiary Mountain Hardwear, Inc. As president of Mountain Hardwear, Inc., Gaylord will be responsible for product creation, global sales and marketing of Mountain Hardwear-brand apparel, accessories & equipment, and for global sales and marketing of Montrail-brand trail-running footwear. He will report to Mick McCormick, Columbia Sportswear's executive vice president of global sales and marketing and will relocate to Mountain Hardwear's Richmond, California headquarters, replacing Kirk Richardson who has served as interim president since November 2009.

Gaylord, 40, brings 20 years of executive experience and personal passion in the outdoor industry. He joined The North Face in 1993, rising to serve as managing director of the company's EMEA region from 2000 to 2005 and as president of VF Corporation's Outdoor & Action Sports International brands, including The North Face, Vans, Reef and Jansport, from 2006 through September 2008. Gaylord has served as president of 7 For All Mankind within VF's Contemporary Brands coalition since October 2008.
"Topher is one of those rare individuals who knows what it takes to build performance-based global brands," said Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear. "We believe our Mountain Hardwear and Montrail brands, with combined 2009 sales of approximately $110 million, will benefit greatly from Topher's leadership, knowledge, and global experience."

Over the course of his career, Gaylord has been responsible for all aspects of brand positioning and management, product design, merchandising and development, marketing, sales, establishment of multiple go-to-market business models around the world, including wholesale, direct-to-consumer, distributor, and licensing, as well as the successful integration of numerous acquired brands. He has extensive experience working in multi-cultural environments in Europe, Asia and North America, building strong business relationships that have resulted in sustained, profitable growth.

"I am energized by the opportunity to lead Mountain Hardwear," said Gaylord.   "As a dedicated ultra runner and outdoor athlete, I have always admired Mountain Hardwear and Montrail products and appreciate the authenticity and integrity with which each brand has pursued its passion to serve the high-performance needs of outdoor athletes and consumers. I believe both brands offer rich possibilities for growth as we capitalize on their global potential."

Interim president Kirk Richardson will assist with Gaylord's integration and then return to Portland, Oregon to resume his prior position as Columbia Sportswear's general manager of footwear merchandising. "We are indebted to Kirk for serving as interim president at Mountain Hardwear and look forward to welcoming him back to Columbia," said Boyle.

About Columbia Sportswear Company
Columbia Sportswear Company is a global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment. Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia products are sold in more than 100 countries and have earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance. Columbia products feature innovative technologies and designs that protect outdoor enthusiasts from the elements, increase comfort, and make outdoor activities more enjoyable. In addition to the Columbia brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns outdoor brands Mountain Hardwear®, Sorel®, Montrail®, and Pacific Trail®. To learn more, please visit the company's websites at,,, and

About Mountain Hardwear:
Mountain Hardwear, Inc. makes cutting edge mountaineering and outdoor equipment, apparel and accessories for ultimate performance in extreme conditions. Established in 1993 by a group of outdoor industry veterans, Mountain Hardwear is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company based in Richmond, Calif. Mountain Hardwear distributes its products through specialty outdoor and sporting goods retailers throughout the United States and over 40 countries worldwide. Mountain Hardwear has won numerous product and customer service awards since its inception, reflecting the company's commitment and passion toward innovation. It's our relentless drive to create the absolute best that makes us who we are. Mountain Hardwear. PERFORMANCE ELEVATED™.


  1. Great to see this type of post about a very good ultra runner. I was thinking about this type of subject last night on my run. That most of my ultra runner friends are highly successful and driven in their choosen field to work or contribute to society. Truely a special group.
    Tony Lafferty

  2. That is cool to see a big person like that to be a ultrarunner. I love Mountain Hardware, like my gators I wore all winter in the snow, 2nd season for them.

  3. Excellent and informative post! I always love Mountain Hardwear especially my Sajama pants.


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