Wolverine World Wide Inc. on Thursday announced the appointment of Chris Hufnagel, pictured below right, as global brand president of Merrell, the largest brand within its portfolio.
A 10-year veteran of Wolverine, Hufnagel most recently served as global brand president of Cat Footwear. In his new role, Hufnagel will continue reporting to Todd Spaletto, president of the Wolverine Michigan Group.
“Chris took aggressive action to help the Cat Footwear team rapidly evolve its growth and go-to-market strategies,” said Spaletto. “His demonstrated collaboration and partnerships within Wolverine, coupled with deep apparel and lifestyle brand experience, make him an ideal fit to build on the strong foundation already in place at Merrell.”
Hufnagel replaces Sue Rechner, who is leaving the company.
“The Merrell brand has made significant accomplishments over the past two years with Sue’s leadership, and we want to thank her for her great work and wish her only the very best,” Spaletto said.
During his tenure at Wolverine, Hufnagel has also served as President of Consumer Direct, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Strategy, and Co-Chief Transformation Officer for the Wolverine Way Forward initiative. In addition, he started Wolverine’s consumer insights and market intelligence function and, before joining the company, held leadership roles at Under Armour, the Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
“Merrell is a very special brand with a rich heritage and an even more promising future,” Hufnagel said. “I’m excited to join the team as we work together to build amazing products, tell compelling stories, drive accelerated growth around the world, and continue helping everyone experience the power of the trail.”
Hufnagel holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Alma College. He is a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s board of directors, the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s board of trustees and the President’s Advisory Council at Alma College.
Rechner was appointed president of Merrell in May 2017 after 10 years as CEO of Confluence Outdoor,
Photos courtesy Merrell