Columbia Appoints New Japan Head

Columbia Sportswear Company has named a new head for its Japan division.

The Portland, Ore.-based outdoor firm appointed Massimo Lazzari president of Columbia Sportswear Japan, a wholly owned subsidiary, effective immediately.

He takes over from Toshio Sano, who has grown the company’s net sales in Japan at an annual rate of more than 17 percent since November 2004 and will retire on Mar. 31, 2011.

At Columbia, Lazzari will be responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s brand positioning, sales and marketing across wholesale and retail operations in Japan. Brands under his charge include Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel and Montrail.

Lazzari will report to Bill Tung, Columbia Sportswear’s VP of Latin America/Asia Pacific.

“During his career, he has demonstrated the ability to manage both wholesale and retail business models with a focus on strong brand positioning, operational efficiency and profitability,” said Tung in a statement.

Born in Italy, Lazzari has 20 years in the Japanese branded apparel and footwear industries, having overseen the Japanese operations of major Italian fashion brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s and Miss Sixty.