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Columbia Sportswear taps former Gap vet to lead merchandising

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Columbia Sportswear’s namesake brand has a new global merchandising chief.

The company named Michael Richardson as VP of global merchandising for the Columbia brand, effective April 23. He will report to executive VP and Columbia brand president Joe Boyle.

In his new role, Richardson will be responsible for developing and executing the strategic vision for Columbia’s global apparel product assortment. His efforts will help the company “transform Columbia into a multichannel consumer brand,” said Boyle.

Richardson brings 30 years of retail industry experience to the position, most of it gained at Gap Inc. He spent nine years in merchandising roles at Gap, most recently, serving as VP of franchise product. In this role, he managed the product teams in merchandising, planning and buying for the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy franchise businesses across approximately 40 countries.

Richardson joined Gap in 1993, as a divisional merchandise manager — a position he held for 15 years. Richardson was also president and principle for Coopers Gourmet Foods. He started his career as VP and general manager for sporting goods retailer Sports Country Ltd.

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