Helly Hansen looks for global marketing chief

Norwegian outdoor clothing brand Helly Hansen has parted company with its global head of marketing Andy Towne after four and a half years. He has left without a job to go to.

His departure comes as Helly Hansen embarks on a sales push, having successfully repositioned itself as a younger brand over the past four years. Owner Invest Corp says it is keen to push sales and broaden its target market.

Towne worked on the overhaul of the brand’s image and its products, but he says it was by agreement that he quit the company.

His responsibilities, which include new product development, will be divided between Olav Teigen, head of marketing at its Norway head office, and Tobin Tichgaeber, head of marketing at its Seattle office. They will report to chief executive Jan Valdmaa.

Towne joined Helly Hansen from Adidas, where he was head of advertising, in 1998 (MW December 3, 1998). He was one of a number of Adidas marketers who defected to Helly Hansen after former Adidas managing director Bob McCulloch was appointed as Helly Hansen worldwide chief operations officer in 1997. Towne was appointed as head of global marketing in early 2000 (MW February 24, 2000).

Towne says that he has mixed emotions about leaving the brand. He is planning to take the summer off to spend more time with his family and says that he will look to return to work in the autumn.


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