Samson Wong has been chosen to lead a Chinese joint venture between U.S.-based Columbia Sportswear Company and Swire Resources Limited, a subsidiary of Swire Pacific Limited.
Wong's appointment as president is effective January 1, 2014, and he will lead Columbia Sportswear Commercial (Shanghai) Company Ltd.
Wong brings 29 years of experience with the Swire group, including the past 23 years with Swire Resources Limited, where he began in 1990 as financial controller and ascended to executive director in June 2012. Wong has led Swire Resources' efforts as Columbia Sportswear's exclusive distributor in Mainland China since 2004 and in Hong Kong and Macau since 2002.
Swire Resources' Mainland China revenues attributable to its Columbia distributorship totaled over USD150 million, selling through approximately 70 branded retail locations and to dealers who operate more than 680 mono- and multi-brand retail locations. The new 60/40 joint venture will assume control over this existing distributor business. It will initially employ approximately 700 staff, drawn primarily from the current Swire Resources team that has grown Columbia to be the top outdoor brand in China, according to the 2012 China Outdoor & Fashion Sports Goods Retailing Report from ISPO China and The China National Commercial Informational Centre.
The joint venture is expected to commence operations effective January 1, 2014, subject to Chinese regulatory approval and other conditions customary in transactions of this size and type.