Columbia Sportswear Company Footwear Innovation Developer in Portland, Oregon

Footwear Innovation Developer

United States, Oregon, Portland

Footwear Manufacturing

1000020R Requisition #

Sep 26, 2016 Post Date

Columbia Sportswear Company isa portfolio of Brands for active lives. From our flagship Columbia Brand to Mountain Hardwear, prAna and eventhe SOREL Brand….we are all about making products that get people closer totheir passions.

So if you have a passion forall things active, we might have the right role for you. If you craveadventure, innovation, quality and – best of all – fun, this is where youbelong. If you’re already reaching for your resume – good. Apply for a career with Columbia Sportswear Companytoday.


TheFootwear Innovation Developer is focused on the creation of innovative concepts,prototypes, and products across the Columbia footwear product lines. Asour Innovation Developer, you will create and develop product to inspire andmeet the needs of future consumers. The Footwear Innovation Developerwill bring fresh perspective, expertise and inspiration to the Innovation Teamat Columbia.

Contributeto developing multiple, concurrent technology initiatives across ColumbiaSportswear by partnering with product creation departments and manufacturingsupport. Drive research and development of new footwear materials, foams,construction processes, etc. Driveexperimentation and test opportunities of selected technologies. Providetechnical expertise and direction around footwear construction, materials, andperformance. Partner with factories toprove out concepts.

Managedevelopment of new game changing outdoor footwear concepts from initial conceptto prototyping and testing. Passion forthinking differently and trying new things with the consumer benefit and intuitivestory at top of mind.

Workclosely with partners in Asia offices and Factories to bring Innovations tolife.


  • Underdirection of Global Innovation Director, execute new concepts in the footwearspace.
  • Contributes ideas for productdesign, construction, materials, compounds and components to enhancefunctionality, aesthetics, fit and profit margin. Serves as the technicalresource for members of the project teams, marketing and design.
  • Representthe innovation team as the footwear creation and development expert.
  • Proactively manages projectsand process through direct interaction with the Innovation teams, Director ofDesign, Merchandizing Director, and In-Line project teams and key suppliers andstrategic partners around the globe.
  • Maintainclose communication with the overseas development staff reviewing progress andresolving issues as projects move closer to commercialization time lines.
  • Partnerwith product development on production and costing challenges.
  • Research and network with suppliers/vendorsto source new and innovative materials. Maintain knowledge of current competitors’ innovation initiatives.
  • Have ability to take a hands-on approach toproto-typing new ideas.
  • Provides support, coaching andtraining for members of our Innovation team as well as other product andcross-functional teams to create and foster a culture of innovation.
  • International and domestictravel as required to achieve a high level of product and technology development,including visits to manufacturing facilities, R&D partners to assist in thecreation, development, commercialization and integration of platformtechnologies into our products.
  • Develop and maintain key partnerships with external vendors.
  • Facilitatethe effective exchange of information with the rest of the Innovation teamfrequently.
  • Partnerwith Innovation Team Members, Product Creation, Product Development, Sourcing, LiaisonOffices, Quality Assurance, outside vendors and manufacturing facilities toefficiently implement new technologies and related processes and equipment.
  • Workwith manufacturing equipment suppliers to stay ahead of new processing andmanufacturing techniques.
  • Works with Beta Testing and HumanPerformance and Lab Testing on the testing and validation of all performancecharacteristics from early prototypes to final commercialization.


  • Thoroughknowledge of administrative management and supervisory techniques, PC software(i.e., spreadsheets, databases, and word-processing), outdoor footwearindustry, and conducting business in Asian countries.
  • Abilityto communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with management,staff, factories and vendors.
  • Anemphasis on clear communication with countries where English is a secondlanguage.
  • Useconsiderable tact, sound judgment, and discretion in all contacts. Identify/evaluateproblem areas and recommend effective solutions.
  • Effectivelysupervise staff, assessing performance and supporting professional development.
  • Useexceptional time management skills to accomplish challenging objectives andmanage heavy workload.
  • Understandbasic engineering, metric measurements, and blueprints.
  • Usegood color and texture perception to identify possible quality problems andsalability of footwear.
  • Bachelors degree in Industrial Design, Engineering or related field. Or 2-3 years of additional experience in high performance footwear design/innovation.
  • 7-10 years of experience in footwear innovation, development/design, or manufacturing.
  • Experience working with factories in Asia a must.
  • Hands on approach to solving problems and creating concepts.
  • Proven ability to work well on cross-function teams to meet strategic directives.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to build lasting productive relationships.
  • Open minded. Always open to a challenge and excited by solving the hard problems.
  • Experience with Illustrator. 3D modelling experience a big plus.
  • A passion for the outdoors and an attitude of getting things done.
  • Travel25% to 30% of time, primarily between the US and Asia, and within Asiancountries.
  • Attendanceat evening/weekend meetings may be required.

This job description is not meant to be an all-inclusive list ofduties and responsibilities, but constitutes a general definition of theposition's scope and function in the company.

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