SmartWool president resigns
Steamboat Springs — SmartWool President Mark Satkiewicz this week resigned to become general manager of the Americas for the TOMS shoe company.
“Certainly, it’s a step forward in my career,” Satkiewicz said Friday. “It’s a bigger brand. This is a great opportunity for me to spend time in an area I’m really passionate about, and it’s helping people.”
TOMS’ business model centers around charity. For every shoe purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a needy child. The Los Angeles-based company has given away more than 60 million pairs of shoes.
“The story is really great,” Satkiewicz said. “There aren’t a lot of companies I would leave SmartWool for, but this is one of them.”
On Monday, the crew from SmartWool completed their annual four-day bike ride that stretches nearly 400 miles from Steamboat Springs to Park City, Utah, where they attended the Outdoor Retailer trade show. This was the 10th year the company has done the ride, a tradition Satkiewicz started.
“The ride was amazing,” Satkiewicz said. “The 10th year was special, especially with me knowing all this.”
The day after the ride ended, Satkiewicz tendered his resignation, effective immediately.
Satkiewicz joined the Merino Wool Sock and Apparel Company in 2006 as vice president of sales and became president in 2009. He helped guarantee SmartWool would continue to be based in Steamboat when the company signed a long-term lease for space at the Steamboat Springs Airport, owned by the city of Steamboat.
“We wish Mark the best — absolutely,” said Molly Cuffe, SmartWool’s global brand marketing director. “He was here for 10 years, and he did a lot of good. We are also looking forward to the future.”
Cuffe said the search for a new president will begin immediately, and the leadership team will ensure day-to-day business continues as normal.
“They are the team that has set the strategy, and they will continue moving forward,” Cuffe said.
In the interim, SmartWool’s leadership team will be guided by Scott Baxter, vice president of VF Corp. and group president of outdoor and action sports. SmartWool is owned by VF Corp.
Satkiewicz said that, since he joined the company, SmartWool has grown fourfold.
He said Los Angeles presents many opportunities for him and his family. Satkiewicz and his wife, Amy, have two daughters: Mia, 9, and Olivia, who is a talented dancer, 15.
“L.A. unlocks a lot of bigger and better opportunities for her, as well,” Satkiewicz said.
Satkiewicz will leave for Los Angeles on Friday.
“We’re still going to ride bikes every day, be outside every day and will definitely be visiting Steamboat,” Satkiewicz said.
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