Industry News 3/13/2009

Burton Hires New Managing Director of its Japan Office

Burton Hires New Managing Director of its Japan Office
 
Burton today announced that it has hired Bill Werlin to head up its office in Tokyo, where he will start his new role at the end of March. Bill comes to Burton with a wealth of senior management experience in the outdoor industry and nearly 10 years of experience working in Japan as the General Manager of Patagonia, Japan.
 
"Bill has the ideal combination of vast experience in the outdoor and apparel industries combined with a deep understanding of the business environment in Japan," says Laurent Potdevin, CEO of Burton. “We know he will hit the ground running when he starts at the Japan office, bringing fresh ideas, new approaches and in-depth knowledge to compliment our excellent staff in Tokyo."


Most recently, Bill was the General Manager of Patagonia Japan where he was responsible for all facets of the Japanese branch operations, including sales, finance, legal, distribution, marketing and merchandising as well as overseeing 280 full-time and part-time staff. Since he took on this role in 2000, Bill increased the number of Patagonia’s retail stores from 6 to 15, oversaw a wholesale dealer network of over 240 specialty and outdoor stores and was very active in the environmental community as a founding member of the Conservation Alliance – Japan. Prior to his nine years at Patagonia, Bill was the Vice President and then President of Action Sports Group in San Francisco for six years. He was also the President of The North Face for four years. During his impressive career in the outdoor and apparel industries, he has developed extensive skills in brand development, marketing, sales and retail while leading companies ranging from small start-ups to larger, multi-faceted organizations.
 
At Burton's Tokyo office, Bill will be responsible for the overall management of Japanese operations including overseeing sales and marketing, product distribution and business operations. Bill will develop effective lines of communication between Burton Japan and the company’s headquarters in Burlington, Vermont to ensure that Burton is creating products and services that address the specific needs of the Japanese market.
 
"It is a great opportunity and distinct pleasure to join the top company in the boardsports industry,” says Bill Werlin, Managing Director of Burton Japan. “Working with the leading edge products and top people in an industry built on fun and outdoor activity is the best of all worlds. Since Japan is one of the key boardsports markets globally, it is critically important that we ensure that Jake’s vision and the values of Burton are successfully communicated to Japanese customers.”
 
About Burton:
In 1977, Jake Burton Carpenter founded Burton Snowboards out of his Vermont barn. Since then, Burton has fueled the growth of snowboarding worldwide through its groundbreaking product lines, its team of top snowboarders and its grassroots efforts to get the sport accepted at resorts.  In 1996, Burton began growing its family of brands to include boardsports and apparel brands. Privately held and owned by Jake, BurtonR17;s headquarters are in Burlington, Vermont with offices in California, Austria, Japan and Australia.