Kathmandu splits COO role in anticipation of international expansion

Outdoor retailer Kathmandu has changed its executive team to enhance its focus on international expansion, while continuing to strengthen its Australasian operation.

The change consists of splitting the chief operating officer and chief financial officer roles into two separate positions. Until now, COO Reuben Casey performed both roles.

Casey will continue on as COO, but with an increased level of responsibility in leading international business development and sourcing functions. He will continue to oversee merchandise planning, supply chain and property functions.

The CFO role will be filled by Chris Kinraid, who will also act as company secretary.

Kinraid joined the business in 2014 as group financial controller, and has over a decade of experience in senior finance and analyst roles at Cadbury, Alliance Boots and Tait Communications.

The Christchurch-based retailer noted the importance of its international expansion during its recent half-year results, when chief executive Xavier Simonet said Kathmandu was beginning to build brand equity through outdoor wholesale channels overseas.

“International growth remains a very important priority,” Simonet said.

“Kathmandu is on a journey of transformation… while we are focused on driving growth for our core Kathmandu business in Australia and New Zealand, we are also step by step diversifying our channels, brand and markets, particularly through Oboz which has delivered strong growth.”

Kathmandu recently revealed that Oboz is the fastest growing hike footwear brand in its own stores as well as in REI – the biggest outdoor retail chain in the US.

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