Black Diamond Equipment (BDE), a global innovator in climbing, skiing, mountain sports equipment and apparel, has appointed Tim Bantle as managing director of BDE’s European operations.
As part of a comprehensive global restructuring initiative, Bantle will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s European business, reporting to the COO of Black Diamond, Inc. and now President of BDE, Mark Ritchie. Prior to the restructuring, Bantle led product, sales and marketing for the company at its global headquarters in Salt Lake City.
“We believe that Europe represents a primary market of opportunity for our brand. Growing our presence and deepening our market share in core businesses will be the main focus for BDE in future seasons,” comments Bantle. “We will seek to reinforce our global leadership in climbing, while focusing on the emerging gym climbing customer. Additionally, we will seek to continue to develop our lighting business and innovate in core product categories such as ski, snow safety and apparel for climbers, alpinists and backcountry skiers.”
Bantle will lead a 4-person management team including Craig Foster, Georg Hoffberger, Stephan Hagenbusch and a sales director still to-be-named. Foster, currently in the role of director of MIS, has been appointed to director of operations and IT and will now be responsible for the brand’s European activities in IT, logistics, warranty and customer service. Georg Hoffberger will join BDE from PIEPS® and will serve in the position of director of finance for the company’s European operations.
As part of the restructuring in Europe, BDE plans to strategically shift from a geographic and category sales management model to a distribution and channel focused sales management model. To support this evolution in the sales organization, Hagenbusch has been appointed to director of strategic accounts and marketing. Hagenbusch will be responsible for driving business with pan-European strategic accounts, while continuing to oversee marketing strategy for Europe. A still to-be-named director of sales will manage all sales agents, as well as BDE’s in-house sales representatives.
“This new organizational structure is expected to enable us to address the diverse needs of our wholesale customers. We believe that it will allow us to provide a high level of service for our retail partners, including speciality, chain and on-line, while further developing our brand across the Company’s entire distribution network,” explains Bantle.
BDE also announces that it will move its European headquarters from Basel, Switzerland, to Innsbruck, Austria.
“We are proud to call Innsbruck home,” comments Bantle. “Innsbruck’s proximity to our largest markets and ecosystem of mountain and action sports companies makes it an ideal location and primary market of opportunity for the company. Innsbruck is an international mountain sports destination and a vibrant university city that provides access to world class climbing and backcountry skiing for our employees.”
The company is actively recruiting staff for the new office, with approximately 35 jobs across sales, marketing, customer service, operations and finance. The new office is expected to be operational in May 2016.