Craft Sportswear North America plans to move its U.S. headquarters from Beverly, MA, to Seattle, WA, in 2024 to “bolster the brand’s expansion in outdoor and specialty retail, all while streamlining operational efficiencies.”
As part of the transition, Eric Schenker, the long-time CEO of Craft Sportswear U.S., has decided not to relocate and will be stepping down. The company will bring on Jake Rawson as CEO. Schenker will exit the company at the close of 2023.
The company said, “Schenker has played a pivotal role in establishing the brand in the U.S., most recently the successful launch of run footwear and propelling omnichannel sales.”
“It has been an incredible journey leading Craft Sportswear over the past 19 years,” Schenker said. “Witnessing the brand’s evolution and growth has been immensely rewarding, and I’m confident that the move to Seattle, coupled with Jake’s leadership, will further elevate the brand’s success in the U.S. market.”
Rawson brings extensive expertise in sales and marketing, international licensing and product development from his 25 years at Cutter & Buck, where, most recently, he was the global concept director, managing brand and product development, sourcing and strategic planning.
Sweden-based New Wave Group owns both Craft and Cutter & Buck. Cutter & Buck is based in Seattle, WA.
“The relocation to Seattle presents an exciting opportunity to enhance our operations capabilities and to work in lockstep with our sales partner, Waypoint Outdoor,” said Rawson. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation laid by Eric and working with the talented team at Craft to achieve new milestones.”
Craft Sportswear’s move to Seattle will involve closer collaboration with other New Wave Group brands to drive operational efficiencies and streamline its approach to supporting retail channels.
Other New Wave Group brands in North America include Ahead USA, Au Clair Gloves, Kosta Boda Art Glass, and Orrefors Crystal, NA.
Photo courtesy Craft Sportswear