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09 Jan. 2013

Wolverine Worldwide Unveils New Company Structure

Things are changing at Wolverine Worldwide. In the wake of its October 2012 acquisition of Performance & Lifestyle Group, publicly traded, Rockford, Michigan-based Wolverine has announced a restructuring from four to three brand operating groups, with company veterans heading each one as group president.



Chairman and CEO Blake Kruger said of the change: “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. 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.”



The restructuring was done to hasten the global growth efforts of the footwear and apparel giant, whose portfolio of brands includes such well-known names as Merrell, Sperry Top-Sider, Hush Puppies, Wolverine and Keds, among others.



The three groups are as follows:

The Heritage Group, led by Ted Gedra, a 27-year veteran of the company, will encompass the Wolverine, Caterpillar Footwear, Bates, Sebago, Harley-Davidson Footwear, and HyTest brands.

The Lifestyle Group, headed by Mark Neal, who has been with Wolverine for 18 years, will encompass the Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite Children's Group, Hush Puppies, Keds, and Soft Style brands.

The Performance Group will be overseen by Jim Zwiers, a Wolverine employee for the last 15 years and president of the former Outdoor Group since 2009. It will encompass the Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, Patagonia Footwear, and Cushe brands.

It was also announced that Gregg Ribatt, former president of the Performance & Lifestyle Group, will leave the company after he helps it transition into its new structure.



Founded in 1883, Wolverine Worldwide sells its products in more than 200 countries and territories.
Christopher Blomquist

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