Black Diamond Appoints Former Sony and Gap Senior Executive, Zeena Freeman, as President
SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Black Diamond, Inc. (Nasdaq:BDE) (the "Company" or "Black Diamond"), a global leader of innovative active outdoor performance equipment and apparel, has appointed Zeena Freeman as president, effective August 11, 2014.
As president, Freeman will succeed Black Diamond Co-Founder Peter Metcalf who will continue to serve as CEO and director. She will be taking over operating responsibility of the Black Diamond Equipment, POC and PIEPS brands. Her hiring will afford Metcalf the opportunity to focus more of his time on other brand-defining activities, including championing the issues of great importance to the Company's fellow community of users.
Her appointment is the result of a search announced last fall for new senior leadership that would augment the Company's strategic capabilities in brand management, specifically in the areas of apparel, retail and e-commerce. Freeman has also been appointed to Black Diamond's board of directors and, ultimately, the Company expects her to succeed Metcalf as CEO no later than June 30, 2015.
"Zeena brings Black Diamond a wonderful combination of leadership, strategic thinking, brand management, and consumer product and omni-channel expertise," noted Metcalf. "She is precisely the kind of strategic merchant and dynamic brand leader that we have been seeking, and we see her perfectly positioned to lead Black Diamond's fastest growing brands through an omni-channel environment over the next decade.
"While we expect Zeena to succeed me as the next CEO of Black Diamond, I intend to remain involved with the business for the long term, both as a director and as a senior executive responsible for public policy and advocacy, as well as playing an integral role with our culture, products and marketing."
Freeman has focused on business transformation, including launching, developing and growing consumer businesses globally in emerging categories, channels and markets throughout her career as an executive and consultant. Most recently, she has been advising companies on strategic opportunities, particularly in areas such as omni-channel retail and digital innovation.
She previously worked at Sony Corporation, where Freeman was the general manager of global retail, responsible for Sony's worldwide store and e-commerce businesses, and she also served as the senior VP of consumer business development for Sony Corporation of America. Freeman was also a member of the global sales & marketing team in Tokyo and reported directly to the company's chairman and CEO.
Prior to Sony, Freeman served as CEO of PEOPLE, an Indian fashion and lifestyle brand that is part of the multi-national Aditya Birla Group, a $40 billion dollar corporation. As CEO of PEOPLE, she was responsible for creating a new specialty retail apparel business with global standards in design, merchandising and retail management, and oversaw its growth from inception to the roll out of stores in key cities in India.
For the better part of a decade, Freeman also distinguished herself in a series of roles with increasing responsibility at Gap, Inc., including senior merchandising and management positions in Banana Republic Factory Stores, babyGap and Old Navy Canada. During her time at Gap, she also worked in multiple corporate functions, including corporate strategy and sourcing & supply chain, in addition to serving as the special business assistant to Gap's CEO in 1999 & 2000.
Freeman commented: "I'm thrilled to be joining the Black Diamond team. The Black Diamond Equipment, POC and PIEPS brands have been built over more than half a century by serving its passionate customers through innovative and beautifully designed products that also deliver exceptional quality and brilliant functionality. These brands offer a unique opportunity, anchored in the authenticity with which they have served the professional and core communities, and in existing and emerging areas such as apparel and personal accessories, to meet the growing, global consumer demand for an athletic, outdoor approach to living one's life.
"I'm looking forward to working with Peter and Black Diamond's talented leaders, as well as the Company's many global business partners, to continue to evolve our product offering and implement multi-channel strategies that will inspire customers and create value for shareholders of Black Diamond."
Freeman received her B.A. degree from Hamilton College and her MBA from New York University, where she was awarded the President's Service Award for Leadership. Her passion for global exploration and outdoor activities has taken her around the world and included spending the better part of a year living, studying and trekking in the Himalayas.
Black Diamond was assisted in this search by Herbert Mines Associates.
About Black Diamond, Inc.
Black Diamond, Inc. is a global leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing innovative active outdoor performance equipment and apparel for climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing, cycling and a wide range of other year-round outdoor recreation activities. The Company's principal brands, Black Diamond®, POC™ and PIEPS™, are iconic in the active outdoor, ski and cycling industries 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. Black Diamond's products are sold in approximately 50 countries around the world. For additional information, please visit the Company's websites at www.blackdiamond-inc.com, www.blackdiamondequipment.com, www.pocsports.com or www.pieps.com.
Please note that in this press release we may use words such as "appears," "anticipates," "believes," "plans," "expects," "intends," "future," and similar expressions which constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are made based on our expectations and beliefs concerning future events impacting the Company and therefore involve a number of risks and uncertainties. We caution that forward-looking statements are not guarantees and that actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results of operations or financial condition of the Company to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to, the overall level of consumer spending on our products; general economic conditions and other factors affecting consumer confidence; disruption and volatility in the global capital and credit markets; the financial strength of the Company's customers; the Company's ability to implement its growth strategy, including its ability to organically grow each of its historical product lines, its new apparel line and its recently acquired businesses; the Company's ability to successfully integrate and grow acquisitions; the Company's exposure to product liability or product warranty claims and other loss contingencies; stability of the Company's manufacturing facilities and foreign suppliers; the Company's ability to protect trademarks and other intellectual property rights; fluctuations in the price, availability and quality of raw materials and contracted products; foreign currency fluctuations; our ability to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards; and legal, regulatory, political and economic risks in international markets. More information on potential factors that could affect the Company's financial results is included from time to time in the Company's public reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based upon information available to the Company as of the date of this press release, and speak only as of the date hereof. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.
CONTACT: Company Contact: Warren B. Kanders Executive Chairman Tel 1-203-428-2000 firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter Metcalf CEO Tel 1-801-278-5552 email@example.com Investor Relations: Liolios Group, Inc. Cody Slach Tel 1-949-574-3860 BDE@liolios.com
Released August 11, 2014