Genesco, Inc. hired Chris Santaella as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of the Journeys Group, effective February 5, 2024. Santaella replaces Pete Hicks, who retired in October 2023.

Santaella joins Journeys from Foot Locker, where he worked for over three decades in successive roles, most recently as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer for Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker and Champs Sports. He led a 125-person global product organization, which included divisional buying teams, global product development and product strategy teams. 

In this role, he developed and implemented global product strategies to drive and diversify FL’s business model, including expanding Foot Locker’s brand portfolio through a curated consumer-focused approach.

In his new role at Journeys Group, Santaella will lead buying, merchandising, planning, and product strategies, reporting to Andy Gray, Journeys president, who joined Genesco in November from Foot Locker.

“Chris is an experienced industry veteran and brand strategist who brings a proven track record of leading global product teams. His exceptional brand leadership and strategic vision, coupled with his passion and commitment to youth culture, is the perfect fit to lead the talented Journeys buying and merchandising team as we continue our work to elevate and evolve the business for the future,” said Genesco Board Chair, President and CEO Mimi E. Vaughn.

“I look forward to partnering with Chris, with whom I’ve worked closely with for many years of my career. He’s a highly respected industry leader known for his collaborative management style and successful long-term brand relationships who will strongly complement our already outstanding team,” said Gray. “Journeys is an iconic concept in teen fashion footwear, synonymous with many of the best global brands in the industry. Chris’ deep experience will help us build upon this solid foundation as we define the next chapter of Journeys’ growth.”

Image courtesy of Genesco


To read additional SGB Media coverage on Genesco/Journeys, click on the headlines below.

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