Jan 14, 2021

Chief Product Officer (CPO)

  • Simms Fishing Products
  • Bozeman, MT, USA
Full time Fishing Industry Fly Fishing Industry Outdoor Industry Apparel Design Executive Management Manufacturing Merchandising Mid-Level Operations Product Development Project Management QA-Quality Control Strategy-Planning

Job Description

Simms Fishing Products, Bozeman, MT, makes premium fishing apparel and footwear including GORE-TEX ® waterproof, breathable waders. The brand was founded by John Simms in 1980 to develop innovative products which help anglers push the limits of their fishing pursuits. Simms took a giant leap in 1993 when current owner K.C. Walsh, a passionate angler and entrepreneur, acquired the company. He relocated the company to Bozeman. Walsh grew up in a fly-fishing family and his life-long dream was to live, work and play in Montana. www.simmsfishing.com.

Under Walsh’s leadership, Simms introduced the signature breathable waders in partnership with W.L. Gore & Associates (makers of GORE-TEX® fabric). This enhanced waders to new levels of comfort and performance. Simms’ GORE-TEX® waders are manufactured in their Bozeman headquarters.

Simms is the sole fishing wader manufacturer in the United States and one of two GORE-TEX-certified wader manufacturers in the world. It employs about 140 people with approximately half of those in the production plant. Simms is a recognized Montana economic ambassador and community contributor.

Simms relocated in 2012 to a new 80,000-square-foot Bozeman facility housing corporate headquarters, including wader production. The enlarged footprint provides room to drive product evolution. Simms continues to innovate in a wide assortment of technical offerings – from state-of-the art sun protection and technical outerwear to pioneering footwear technologies.

Simms grows and evolves with one unifying mission: To build trusted, innovative products so anglers can focus on fishing. Simms’ purpose is to inspire the world to fish.


To Casey Sheahan, CEO



The CPO brings extensive experience in merchandising leadership, assortment planning, customer insights & market trend assessments, financial analysis, and omni-channel go-to-market strategy to lead SIMMS’ merchandising and design team. The CPO is responsible to continuously push function, performance, design innovation, fabrics leadership, and appealing aesthetics to help Simms capitalize on our emerging opportunity in fishing-inspiring sportswear.



  • Provide strong leadership, coaching, and mentorship to consistently produce company-leading growth and profitability
  • Lead and inspire internal product line managers, and internal/external product designers to their full potential through creative direction, and constructive criticism with a strong eye for Simms
  • Manage the product design process with internal and freelance designers to build distinctive collections from product brief to field testing to commercialization. Reduce lead times to assure quality samples and bulk production
  • Oversee and manage a consistent design language across all Simms categories
  • Ensure that consistent fit is maintained across all apparel categories


  • Marketing: Deliver product consistent with the brand positioning and Simms’ standards of quality, innovation, and craftsmanship. Collaborate on strategic initiatives to drive brand aesthetics
  • Operations: Leverage expertise with the internal Manufacturing team and the Sourcing department to deliver supply chain efficiency, productivity and exceed margin targets
  • Sales: Design a commercially effective product line which maintains Simms’ Brand Collaborate on initiatives to drive sales growth. Provide training; lead the design point of view and present to the global sales force. Assist in key account sell-in activities. Help generate selling tools.
  • Finance: Lead team to create seasonal product introductions that are differentiated and win in the marketplace and meet/exceed financial targets.



  • Personal and professional knowledge of the fishing and outdoor industry and the end use consumer
  • Attention to detail at the most granular level
  • Clear point of view developed through experience and market research
  • Ability to present and defend a concept along with a willingness to accept other’s input and directional change
  • Strong analytical, presentation and interpersonal communication skills
  • Personal style which emphasizes and fosters open communication and teamwork
  • A passion for the sport of fishing
  • Significant domestic and international travel will be required
  • This is a full-time, in-house position located in Bozeman, Montana



  • Bachelor’s Degree plus a minimum of 10 years’ experience in merchandising function in an outdoor-related industry
  • Experience in technical outerwear and sportswear is necessary
  • Demonstrated record of success launch of innovative products which exceed performance expectations for target customer adoption, retail sell-through, profit margin and company metrics
  • Proven project and people management skills
  • Technical knowledge of fabrics and construction techniques


For the right person, this can be a highly impactful role, providing timely insights on product costing and other finance-related analyses that will help drive better business decisions.

Simms offers a competitive compensation and benefits package, including:  Medical, Dental & Vision Insurance, Health Savings Account, Flexible Spending Accounts, Life, Short-term & Long-term Disability Insurance, 401K Retirement Plan, Paid Holidays & Paid Time Off.


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Company Address

177 Garden Drive 59718 Bozeman, Montana

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