Robert J. Dennis, president of the Genesco Inc., will assume the additional role of chief executive officer, effective August 1, 2008.  Chairman and CEO Hal N. Pennington will continue as executive chairman of the company. Dennis was named president and chief operating officer of Genesco in October 2006, after a year as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“Bob's assumption of the CEO role is a further step forward in our internal succession plan that began with his appointment as chief operating officer in 2005,” said Pennington. “The board's agreement with my recommendation to move ahead with the succession plan reflects our confidence that Genesco is well-positioned to continue the transition process at this time and that Bob is the right person to lead the company through the next phase of its strategic development. I look forward to supporting him and the entire management team as we continue working to achieve Genesco's tremendous potential.”

Prior to becoming president in October 2006, Dennis had previously served as chief executive officer of Hat World Corporation since 2001. Following the company's acquisition of Hat World, he was named a senior vice president of Genesco in 2004.

Dennis said, “Since becoming a part of the Genesco management team four years ago, I have grown to appreciate the company's heritage, and have been impressed with the strategic strength of its businesses, its great potential as a platform for growth, and the tremendous talent and commitment of my fellow employees. I look forward to continuing to work with Hal and the rest of the management team to make the most of that strength and talent. I am honored and excited to lead this company at this time.”

Dennis' experience includes a senior position with Asbury Automotive from 1997 to 1999.  From 1984 to 1997, he was with McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm, where he was made a partner in 1990 and led the North American Retail Practice. Dennis holds a master of business administration degree, with distinction, from the Harvard Business School, with a focus on consumer marketing, and bachelor's and master's degrees in biochemical engineering and organic chemistry, with honors, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.