Wolverine Worldwide names Brendan Hoffman next CEO
Outdoor apparel and footwear group Wolverine Worldwide announced on Tuesday the appointment of Brendan Hoffman, as chief executive officer, effective at the end of the year.
Hoffman is currently president and a member of the company’s board of directors. He joined Wolverine Worldwide as president in September 2020, where he oversaw the company’s brands and direct-to-consumer business. His focus has been pursuing growth initiatives across Wolverine Worldwide’s brands and digital operations, including its e-commerce revenue goal of $500 million for 2021 — doubling 2019 levels.
Before joining the company, Hoffman was CEO of Vince Holding Corp., where he is credited for increasing the growth and penetration of the company’s e-commerce and digital platforms, adapting Vince’s vertical supply chain to embrace “buy now/wear now” trends, and extending the brand into new consumer categories. Prior to joining Vince in 2015, Hoffman was CEO and president of The Bon-Ton Stores and president and CEO of Lord & Taylor LLC. In addition, he was CEO and president of Neiman Marcus Direct earlier in his career.
He will succeed Blake Krueger, who joined the company in 1993 and has been CEO since 2007 and chairman of the board since 2009. As part of the transition, Krueger will assume the newly created role of executive chairman of Wolverine Worldwide.
Krueger is recognized for transforming the company from a traditional footwear wholesaler into a consumer-obsessed, digital-focused growth company with one of the world’s largest portfolios of footwear and lifestyle brands. He led the company’s acquisitions of the Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Stride Rite, Keds, and Chaco brands, opening up new market segments and consumer territories.
Over the past nine months, Krueger and Hoffman have worked together closely to leverage the global power of the Wolverine Worldwide brand portfolio, navigate the impacts of Covid-19, and strategically position the company post-pandemic.
“Blake has been a leader in the footwear industry for almost three decades, and it’s been an honor to work closely with him and the Wolverine Worldwide team during his tenure,” said David T. Kollat, lead independent director for Wolverine Worldwide since 2007 and a director since 1992.
“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Blake for his passion, dedication, and exceptional leadership as CEO of Wolverine Worldwide. We will continue to benefit from his expertise and experience in his new role as executive chairman, and we are grateful for his work in preparing for a smooth CEO transition.”
“I would like to thank Blake and the board for their support and the opportunity to lead Wolverine Worldwide into its next phase of global growth,” said Hoffman. “It’s been a privilege to work closely with Blake over the past year and I have gained tremendous knowledge of the industry and the unique strengths of the company’s global brand portfolio.
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