Steve Rendle took a step closer to being named the top executive at VF Corp. last week when he was promoted to president and COO and became only the second member of the company's senior management team elected to the company's board of directors. 

The announcement signaled the growing importance of outdoor and action sports both  within VF Corp. and the larger world of apparel and footwear. The VF Outdoor & Action Sports coalition generated nearly 59 percent of VFC's $12.3 billion in sales and 62 percent of  its $2.10 billion in profits in 2014.   

Rendle, 55, will report to Eric Wiseman, VFC’s chairman and chief executive officer, who relinquished the title of president to Rendle with the promotion.  The only other person on VFC's seven-member executive leadership team with significant experience at the VF  Outdoor & Action  Sports  Coalition is Karl Heinz Salzburger, 56, who serves as vice president of VF and President of VF International. Salzburger served as president of VFC's international outdoor businesses from 2001 to 2006.

Rendle moved from California to VFC headquarters in Greensboro, NC last year after being named SVP Americas, VF Corp, in April. In that post, he was responsible for Outdoor & Action Sports, Jeanswear, Imagewear, Sportswear and Contemporary Brands coalitions in the region. Prior to that position, Rendle had been VP and group president – Outdoor & Action Sports Americas since 2011.

“We’re pleased to promote Steve to this important new role,” said Wiseman, who is 59. “His accomplishments during his nearly 16 years with the company are many, including accelerating VF’s brand growth in the Americas, leading our Outdoor and Actions Sports coalition and serving as President at The North Face brand. Steve is a key member of our Operating Committee, which oversees our business around the world, and he has helped define and execute VF’s strategic plans. His passion for connecting with consumers and customers helps drive our Powerful Brands, Powerful Platforms, One VF approach.”

In his role as President and COO, Rendle will oversee all VF’s business coalitions worldwide: Outdoor & Action Sports, Jeanswear, Imagewear, Sportswear and Contemporary Brands. He will also be responsible for VF’s global Supply Chain and Direct-to-Consumer platforms.

The company’s largest brands are The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Wrangler, Lee and Nautica.