Kathmandu Holdings has hired US clothing executive Amy Beck to run its North American business.

Beck, most-recently brand manager at Seattle-based Waypoint Outdoor, will take up the role on April 1.

Kathmandu shares rose a cent to $2.41. They have gained almost 4 per cent the past year.

Christchurch-based Kathmandu has more than 160 stores in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Last April it paid US$60 million for Montana-based Oboz Footwear to diversify its product range and expand its geographic spread.

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Chief executive Xavier Simonet said Beck's appointment is a key one for the company. While Oboz founder and chief executive John Connelly is stepping back from his role, he will continue contributing to the development of Oboz and Kathmandu as a brand ambassador, Simonet said.

- BusinessDesk