Go To

Oregon Job Source

Add Your Resume

Columbia Sportswear

Leading maker of outdoor and ski clothing.

14375 NW Science Park Drive
Portland, OR 97229
Employees: 3,113
CEO: Tim Boyle
Stock Symbol: COLM

Website: http://www.columbia.com

Career Site

Founded in 1938, Columbia Sportswear Company has grown from a small family-owned hat distributorship to one of the world's largest outerwear brands and the leading seller of skiwear in the United States.

The company makes clothing, accessories and footwear for men, women and kids. The company also sells backpacks, bicycles, sleeping bags, tents and insulated products.

Columbia products are available through more than 13,000 retailers in 72 countries, from Argentina, to New Zealand, to Korea. We own and operate sales offices in North America, Europe and Asia, and have wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada and Japan. The family of brands includes Columbia, Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Pacific Trail, and Sorel. The corporate headquarters and domestic distribution center (European Distribution Center in Cambrai, France) are in Portland, OR. The company employs over 3,000 people around the world.

In fiscal 2009, Columbia reported sales of $1.24 billion, down 6% from the previous year. Net income was $67.0 million.


Columbia's history began in 1937 when founder and Chairman Gert Boyle's parents, Paul and Marie Lamfrom, fled Germany and settled in Portland, Oregon. They bought a small hat distributorship and named it Columbia Hat Company, after the river bordering the city. Frustrated by poor deliveries from suppliers, the Lamfroms decided to start manufacturing products themselves, and expanded the line to include outerwear, fishing vests, and shirts.

In 1948, Gert married college sweetheart Neal Boyle, who joined the family business and later took the helm of the growing company. In 1970, Neal suddenly died of a heart attack. He left behind three children, an expanding company leaning heavily on bank loans, and a wife who didn't have any business experience.

The day after Neal's funeral, the phones at Columbia were ringing off the hook with salesmen and vendors who assumed the company was going out of business. Then the bank called. They were quite concerned when they found out that a housewife was going to take control of the company. They summoned Gert in for a meeting, during which she somehow managed to buy herself a little time. She pledged Columbia's building as collateral for loans, appeasing the bankers. She also trimmed the company a bit and son Tim started hitting the trade shows. After a few years, profits went up.

Columbia is known as a product innovator and has a reputation for quality and value. These basic principles guide Columbia through the creation of inventive and highly popular designs, including its famous Interchange System. This revolutionary concept was developed in 1982 and it has since propelled Columbia to the forefront of the outerwear industry. The first Interchange jackets were made for hunting and featured a weatherproof outershell and an insulating inner jacket that could be worn together or separately, so that each parka was really three or four garments in one. This product was so popular that Columbia applied the same concept to a ski parka and called it the Bugaboo, which became one of the best-selling ski jackets in history. In 1991 Columbia developed its own proprietary waterproof, breathable coating - Omni-Tech - and is now the second-largest user of waterproof, breathable fabric in the world.

Columbia acquires Montrail and Pacific Trail Products in 2006.


The following benefits are available to all full time employees who are scheduled to work 30 or more hours per week.

Portland/Vancouver Area Employees have three options to select from: HMO, POS (Point of Service) and Kaiser Permanente. Employees who live and work outside the Portland/Vancouver network area are offered a medical plan that provides access to physicians in their area along with a co-pay or deductible depending on the service received.

We offer two options for dental coverage for Portland/Vancouver area employees, Kaiser Permanente and ODS. Employees outside the Portland/Vancouver areas are offered the ODS plan.

Our vision plan through Vision Service Plan is offered to all US employees and provides for an exam once a year. Glasses (frames and/or lenses) or contacts are covered under the plan once every 24 months.

401(k) Plan
Regular and part time employees are eligible to contribute up to 70% of their gross pay through pre-tax payroll deductions. Participation may begin the first of the quarter following completion of 90 days of employment.
The Company currently matches 50% of the first 10% of the employee's contribution. The match is 100% vested after one year of employment.
Profit Sharing: Columbia's Board of Directors may elect to make profit sharing contributions annually, based on the company's profitability. These contributions serve to increase the value of the employee's account upon retirement.

Paid Time Off (PTO)
Paid Time Off starts accruing on the date of hire for regular full time employees, with the potential at the end of the first 12 months of 17 days of PTO. This benefit provides paid time off for vacation, sick leave and personal business. PTO accrual rates increase after the 5th, 10th and 15th years of service. Employees also have 11 paid holidays per year.

Education Assistance
Columbia Sportswear supports the concept of life-long learning for its employees, especially since we compete in ever-changing and broadening markets. Employees are encouraged to design and follow an individualized program that enhances individual growth, both personal and professional. When individual improvement coincides with Company needs, Columbia Sportswear's policy permits certain expenses to be shared, including tuition, and course fees.

Other Benefit Plans
-- Life & Disability Coverage, Employee Life Insurance, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Short & Long Term Disability, Supplemental Life, Long Term Care
-- Personal Choice Spending Account. This plan allows employees to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to cover insurance premiums, child and dependent care expenses, and eligible medical, dental, and vision expenses:
-- Employee Assistance Plan - Columbia Sportswear provides regular employees and their eligible dependents paid coverage for voluntary, confidential counseling.

Miscellaneous Benefits
· Employee Store with a generous Columbia product discount
· Outlet and Flagship Store Discount for Columbia employees
· Direct Deposit of Salary
· Mass Transit Subsidy
· On-site Fitness Center

Updated November 29, 2010