When I joined Burton as VP of Global Operations in 1995, the snowboard industry was growing rapidly and the company lacked the infrastructure to support the global growth of the business. We built a supply chain to set the company up for exponential growth and to strengthen its position as the global leader. In 1997, Burton was one of the first medium-sized companies to successfully implement SAP as its enterprise wide system.
While maintaining my responsibilities over operations, I was appointed SVP of Global Operations and challenged by Jake Burton to turn around our European subsidiary, our least profitable market. We completely restructured the management team and strategy, and in 14 months, Europe became our fastest-growing region and by 2005, our most profitable.
After meeting the challenge of turning around the European subsidiary, Jake Burton appointed me as President and COO of Burton Snowboards and all of its affiliated brands. During this time we built the strongest roster of professional snowboarders for both men and women. It was also a time focused on increasing efficiencies and maximizing profitability for the company.
As a snowboard brand, we heavily relied on the winter season – something we looked to change with the acquisition of iconic surf and skate brands. These acquisitions solidified Burton’s dominance in the world of ‘standing sideways.’
Burton was privately held with no debt and nearly $1 billion in revenue when the global recession hit. Despite facing a significant downturn, our strategy and agility allowed us to retain full control of the company and remain profitable during some of the most challenging times.