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Former Rapala CEO takes top job at Grundéns


Fishing apparel and footwear brand Grundéns has appointed former Rapala VMC CEO Nicolas Cederström Warchalowski to lead the business.

Warchalowski was hired as CEO after presenting a strategic vision in line with Grundén’s plans to ‘expand globally and serve all anglers,’ said the Swedish company in an announcement late yesterday.

The Swedish national has more than 25 years of consumer goods and outdoor brand leadership experience and has worked throughout Europe and America. He was CEO of the sports and outdoor brands, Peak Performance and Haglöfs, before taking the top job at Rapala in March 2020.

He introduced the ‘One Rapala’ strategy and remodeled the Group’s senior management structure in the process. He led the acquisition of Okuma’s European and Russian trademarks in January 2022 and oversaw the transfer of lure production to Estonia.

Profits for the Group’s first half of 2022 fell by almost half, but it came as a surprise to most in the tackle industry when he left Rapala by ‘mutual agreement’ at short notice some two and a half years into the job.

“Nicolas has deep global industry knowledge, strategic acumen and a customer-centric approach that makes him the ideal leader to guide Grundéns through its next phase of global expansion,” said Topher Gaylord, Chairman of the Grundéns board.

Grundéns says that under Warchalowski it will continue to invest in research and development, product innovation and sustainable manufacturing processes.

“I have always admired the Grundéns brand, which first caught my eye on commercial fishermen on the west coast of Sweden,” said Warchalowski, a keen angler.

“To see the brand gain traction in the sportfishing market has really impressed me and I feel greatly honoured to have the opportunity to build on the strong foundations of the brand and work closely with the Grundéns team to unlock the next chapter of growth for the business.

“On a personal level, I look forward to experiencing the world-renowned fishing in the Pacific Northwest and catching my first steelhead wearing the new impressive-looking Grundéns waders,” added Warchalowski, who has relocated to Grundéns’ North American headquarters in Poulsbo, Washington.

Grundéns began nearly 100 years ago when Carl Grundén began producing oil skins for North Sea fishermen. Today it claims to offer the world’s most versatile range of fishing outerwear, sun protection apparel, footwear and accessories. Under the mantra ‘We Are Fishing’, it operates from Poulsbo and from Boras, Sweden.

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