Walton is best known in the industry for his involvement with the clothing brands Pearl Izumi, Hind and Descente and distributor Veltec. He's also known for his road racing prowess — he raced professionally during the 1980s and represented Canada at the Olympics. He left Veltec last March.
He will soon move from Boulder to near Mavic's U.S. headquarters in Massachusetts, he said, and is eager to ride new roads there.
Walton fills a position at Mavic that’s been vacant since last October when general manager Mark Leydecker left to join Performance Bicycle. Walton said his experience with clothing and hardgoods will be put to use at Mavic.
"Mavic's core business is wheels, but they are absolutely serious about shoes, clothing, tires and helmets, too. My experience with apparel should be valuable, but it's not like Mavic went and hired Hugh Walton because they suddenly decided to take clothing seriously. (My softgoods experience) is more coincidental. They already take all their categories seriously."
Walton's decision to join Mavic means Vredestein tires will change its U.S. distribution. Walton has been Vredestein's U.S. and Canada brand manager for about a year; the tires are distributed by Boulder-based Move Sport, which is owned by Walton's wife, Susan Walton.
"It's all very friendly and cooperative; Move Sport will transition out of Vredestein over the next 60 to 90 days," Walton said. Vredestein released a press release Wednesday that said in the coming weeks the company "will make changes to direct greater resources to the growth of the brand to take it to the next level, as a top tier tire brand in the IBD market." Vredestein's announcement came a few hours before Mavic announced it had hired Walton.