MBT, the maker of physiological footwear, appointed Joe Casagrande as president of its U.S. and Canadian business. Casagrande formerly worked for New Balance. Nicola McLeod. most recently general manager of Rockport Canada, becomes general manager of its operations in Canada.

Effective April 4, Casagrande will succeed Mark Matheny, who has been acting as interim president, and will report into MBT Global President and CEO Jan Stig Andersen. Effective same day, Matheny will revert to his previous role as VP of operations.

Casagrande joins MBT following nine years at New Balance, where, among other achievements, he launched and managed the PF Flyers brand, was general manager of the NB Lifestyle division, and, most recently, headed up sales and merchandising for all of New Balance across Athletic Specialty, Specialty Department Stores, Sporting Goods, and Lifestyle channels of trade. Previously, Casagrande worked for Swedish company EF, where he managed the Sports Tours division; he also held positions at the Army Brand Group and Miller Brewing Company.

“We would like to thank Mark Matheny for his strong and insightful leadership during this time of transition at MBT USA,” said MBT Global President and CEO Jan Stig Andersen. “We see enormous potential for MBT in the U.S. and are fortunate to have Joe Casagrande take the helm at this time. His years of proven expertise in product marketing, sales and management from both a national and global perspective will be a tremendous asset to the company.”

Casagrande received a bachelor's degree in international business and Spanish from Ithaca College, in New York, and a master's in business administration (MBA), with focus on global commerce and brand management, from Georgetown University. Casagrande currently lives in Boston with his wife and three sons.

Meanwhile, McLeod becomes general manager of its operations in Canada, effective April 6. McLeod comes to MBT from the Rockport Company, where she most recently served as general manager of Rockport Canada and was responsible for the development of all wholesale and retail business units in the Canadian market. In addition, she successfully restructured the company's entire Canadian operations in 2009.

In this role, McLeod will be responsible for developing brand strategy and driving consumer awareness and engagement. She will also manage MBT Canada's entire business operations on a daily basis.

McLeod joined the Rockport Company in 2000, and held various sales, product and marketing positions before being named Director of International Business Development. In that role, she oversaw the management and negotiation of wholesale and retail distributors across the Middle East, Southern Europe and Latin America, establishing seven new global markets for the brand in less than two years.

McLeod started her career as a sales manager for ECCO and she has also worked for the Clarks Company of North America.

“We are tremendously excited that Nicola will be joining the MBT team,” said Jan Stig Andersen. “With more than 11 years of experience in the Canadian footwear market and an impressive track record of successful strategic business planning and execution, we believe she is the best person to lead our Canadian operations.”

McLeod holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Waterloo. She received her bachelor's degree, also in political science, from York University. McLeod lives in Caledon, Ontario, with her husband, Dirk.