Wolverine Worldwide Announces Organizational Changes to Drive Global Brand
Building and Growth
ROCKFORD, Mich., Jan. 8, 2013
ROCKFORD, Mich., Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW)
today announced several key organizational moves to drive its future growth
and global brand building following its October 2012 acquisition of the
Performance & Lifestyle Group ("PLG").
oThe Company will migrate from four to three brand Operating Groups.
oThe new Operating Group alignment will maximize brand synergies and
leverage global growth opportunities.
oVeteran Company leaders Ted Gedra, Mark Neal, and Jim Zwiers will lead the
new Operating Groups.
"The acquisition of the Performance & Lifestyle Group has been
transformational for our Company and has created many new opportunities for
global growth, brand building, and operational excellence," saidBlake W.
Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Today, we
are taking important steps to better align the team and realize our vision of
having the best brands, products, operating platform, and consumer experiences
in the industry."
To accelerate the Company's global growth initiatives and brand-building
efforts, the Company will be organized into three Operating Groups – each led
by a Group President.
oThe HERITAGE GROUP – comprising of the Wolverine, Caterpillar Footwear,
Bates, Sebago, Harley-Davidson Footwear, and HyTest brands – will be led
byTed Gedra. Gedra has been a Group President since 2007 and has held
several senior management positions during his 27-year career with
oThe LIFESTYLE GROUP – comprising of the Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite
Children's Group, Hush Puppies, Keds, and Soft Style brands – will be led
byMark Neal. Neal previously served as Group President for Hush Puppies,
Soft Style, and Cushe and is adding three PLG brands (Sperry Top-Sider,
Stride Rite Children's Group, and Keds) to his responsibilities. He has
held senior management roles of increasing responsibility during his
18-year tenure with the Company.
oThe PERFORMANCE GROUP – comprising of the Merrell, Saucony, Chaco,
Patagonia Footwear, and Cushe brands – will be led byJim Zwiers. Zwiers
has led the former Outdoor Group since 2009. He has held a variety of
senior roles in retail, legal, administration, international, business
strategy and development, and global brand leadership during his 15-year
career with Wolverine Worldwide.
The new Wolverine Worldwide Operating Groups are listed below:
Heritage Group Lifestyle Group Performance Group
Wolverine^® Sperry Top-Sider^® Merrell^®
CAT^® Stride Rite^® Saucony^®
Bates^® Hush Puppies^® Chaco^®
Sebago^® Keds^® Patagonia^®
Harley-Davidson^® Soft Style^® Cushe^®
"These organizational changes represent a significant step forward for our
Company following the acquisition of PLG," continued Mr. Krueger. "We have one
of the most dynamic brand portfolios in the world today, a proven business
model focused on driving top and bottom line growth, and one of the deepest
and best management teams in the industry."
The Company also announced today that Gregg Ribatt, former CEO and President
of the Performance & Lifestyle Group, will be leaving the Company to pursue
other opportunities outside the industry following a transition period during
which he will help migrate the business to the new organization structure.
Commenting on the move, Krueger stated, "In five years with PLG, Gregg has
done an excellent job leading PLG strategy and assembling an exceptional team
of leaders that has driven these brands to the levels of success they are
achieving today, and we thank him for his accomplishments. We are confident
that this new organizational structure and the Operating Groups' newly
appointed leaders will help accelerate the global performance of the former
Mr. Krueger concluded, "Our Company has a track record of consistent
performance, operational excellence, and building brands on a global basis.
The moves today represent one more step in our evolution as the world's
leading and most-loved portfolio of brands. Our global team of over 8,000
associates is energized and focused on long-term growth and success, and I
couldn't be more excited about the future of our Company."
With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World Wide,
Inc. is one of the world's leading marketers of branded casual, active
lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children's and uniform footwear and
apparel. The Company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes:
Merrell^®, Sperry Top-Sider^®, Hush Puppies^®, Saucony^®, Wolverine^®, Keds^®,
Stride Rite^®, Sebago^®, Cushe^®, Chaco^®, Bates^®, HYTEST^®, and Soft
Style^®. The Company also is the global footwear licensee of popular brands
including CAT^®, Harley-Davidson^® and Patagonia^®. The Company's products are
carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in approximately 200
countries and territories. For additional information, please visit our
This press release contains forward-looking statements. In addition, words
such as "estimates," "anticipates," "believes," "forecasts," "plans,"
"predicts," "projects," "is likely," "expects," "intends," "should," "will,"
variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify
forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future
performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions ("Risk
Factors") that are difficult to predict with regard to timing, extent,
likelihood and degree of occurrence. Therefore, actual results and outcomes
may materially differ from what may be expressed or forecasted in such
forward-looking statements. Risk Factors include, among others: the
Company's ability to realize the benefits of the PLG acquisition on a timely
basis or at all; the Company's ability to combine its businesses and PLG
successfully or in a timely and cost-efficient manner; the degree of business
disruption relating to the PLG acquisition; the Company's ability to
successfully develop its brands and businesses; changes in interest rates, tax
laws, duty structures, tariffs, quotas or applicable assessments in countries
of import and export including anti-dumping measures and trade defense
actions; changes in consumer preferences, spending patterns, buying patterns
or price sensitivity; changes in future pension funding requirements and
pension expenses; the ability to secure and protect owned intellectual
property or use licensed intellectual property; cancellation of orders for
future delivery, or the failure of the Department of Defense to exercise
future purchase options, award new contracts or the cancellation of existing
contracts by the Department of Defense or other military purchasers; changes
in planned customer demand, re-orders or at-once orders; changes in
relationships with, including the loss of, significant customers; the
availability and pricing of footwear manufacturing capacity; reliance on
foreign sourcing; failure of international licensees and distributors to meet
sales goals or to make timely payments on amounts owed; disruption of
technology systems; regulatory or other changes affecting the supply or price
of materials used in manufacturing; the impact of regulatory or legal
proceedings and legal compliance risks; the availability of power, labor and
resources in key foreign sourcing countries, including China; the cost,
availability and management of raw materials, inventories, services and labor
for owned and contract manufacturers; the impact of competition and pricing;
the impact of changes in the value of foreign currencies; the development of
new initiatives; the risks of doing business in developing countries, and
politically or economically volatile areas; retail buying patterns;
consolidation in the retail sector; changes in economic and market conditions;
acts and effects of war and terrorism; seasonality and weather; problems
affecting the Company's distribution system, including service interruptions
at shipping and receiving ports; the failure to maintain the security of
personally identifiable and other information of customers, stockholders and
employees; and additional factors discussed in the Company's reports filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission and exhibits thereto. Other Risk
Factors exist, and new Risk Factors emerge from time to time that may cause
actual results to differ materially from those contained in any
forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors
should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction
of actual results. Furthermore, the Company undertakes no obligation to
update, amend or clarify forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Wolverine Worldwide
Contact: Christi Cowdin, +1-616-866-6271
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