Allbirds, Inc. promoted its chief operating officer, Joe Vernachio, to CEO and appointed him to the company’s Board of Directors, effective March 15, 2024. He succeeds Joey Zwillinger, Allbirds’s Co-Founder and CEO, who will continue as a member of the Board of Directors and as a special advisor to the company.

Vernachio’s addition to the Board will expand the size of Allbirds’s Board of Directors to eight members.

“Building Allbirds with my co-founder Tim Brown, alongside our talented and dedicated Flock, has and continues to be an incredible privilege,” said Zwillinger. “I am thrilled to pass the mantle to Joe, who I have been working with for nearly three years. We turned to Joe to take on an expanded leadership role, increasing his responsibilities this past year and leveraging his capabilities as we developed our strategic transformation plan. Joe’s expertise has been particularly meaningful as we’ve worked to align our ethos with operational and financial execution. Our mission to make products that are coveted by consumers and deliver amazing comfort and style without denting the earth is even more important than it was when we started the Company nine years ago. I have every confidence that we have built the foundation for an enduring, multi-generation brand that will thrive in the years to come.”

Lead Independent Director Dick Boyce stated, “On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Joey, both as co-founder and CEO, and acknowledge his enormous contributions and fierce commitment to Allbirds’s mission, proving that good design and sustainability don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We are delighted that Joe is taking the reins as we strive to maximize long-term shareholder value. He brings a powerful combination of continuity, business prowess, and deep industry experience to the role from his nearly four-decade, storied career managing a variety of leading brands. We are confident that he is perfectly suited to lead Allbirds through its next phase and well into the future.”

Vernachio added, “I am honored to step into the CEO role and am endlessly grateful to Joey for his partnership. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our teams across the organization as well as the Board as we advance Allbirds’s strategic transformation plan. I have a deep appreciation for what it takes to build brand equity, restore growth, and drive scale. Allbirds has all the makings of an enduring, iconic brand – lifestyle positioning, meaningful purpose and sustainability, and great value. I look forward to delivering on the full potential of our strategy, creating incredible products and building long-term value for our shareholders.”

Vernachio has led key initiatives under the company’s operational transformation, including reducing inventory, transitioning to a distributor model in international markets and optimizing U.S. distribution. Most recently, he assumed full control over product development. In addition to serving four years as president of Mountain Hardwear, Vernachio spent seven years at The North Face, where he was the VP of global product. Earlier in his career, he held various leadership positions with global brands, including Patagonia, Nike, Roots, Calvin Klein, and Spyder.

Images courtesy Allbirds and Joe Vernachio/LinkedIn