New Balance took a close look at its international operations, naming general managers for both Brazil and China. Gustavo Hildenbrand has been named General Manager for Brazil, while Michael Wellman has been named General Manager for China.
“Gustavo brings broad experience, professional qualifications, leadership skills and a clear understanding of the Brazil market,” says Joe Preston, Executive Vice President, International at New Balance. “We are confident that he will enable New Balance to attain our aggressive business goals in Brazil while maintaining our corporate value system.”
Hildenbrand has more than ten years of experience in Brazils consumer products industry, including his most recent role as General Manager for Revlon Brazil. Prior to that he was at Sanofi Synthelabo as their Marketing/Group Brand Manager and at Glaxo SmithKline / SmithKline Beecham he served in several roles including Senior Brand Manager Sal de Fruta ENO.
“I'm excited to join New Balance and contribute to the growth of the company's global business,” says Hildenbrand. “I plan to continue the brands established focus on performance footwear and its deep commitment to serious runners as well as maximize the opportunity to expand the apparel business.”
“New Balance is now well-positioned for tremendous growth in the Brazil market after our successful re-launch in 2007,” says Preston. “Gustavo will build on this momentum as we work towards our global sales objective to reach $3 billion in the next five years.”
Hildenbrand is a native Brazilian. He earned an MBA in Marketing at the Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais and a Bachelors degree in Business Administration at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.
“Michael brings a keen understanding of the Chinese market as well as valuable sporting goods industry knowledge and experience,” says Joe Preston, Executive Vice President, International at New Balance. “We are confident that under his strategic leadership, New Balance China will continue to achieve our aggressive business goals while maintaining our corporate value system.”
Wellman has more than sixteen years of experience working in Asia specifically in the sporting goods industry, including his most recent role as Managing Director for Adidas Taiwan Limited. Prior to that Wellman worked for Adidas in Thailand as their Managing Director, and as the companys Sales & Marketing Director in Shanghai, China. He was also with Nike in Shanghai and Taiwan for more than six years.
“New Balance has achieved solid brand growth in China in recent years,” says Wellman, “I look forward to building on this strong foundation to expand and increase our market share to become the #1 running brand in China over the next five years.”
“We recognize that China is an important market for the New Balance brand and will play a key role in helping us reach our global sales objective of $3 billion by 2012.” says Preston.
A U.S. citizen, Wellman studied Mandarin Chinese in Taipei and Hsinchu for five years and earned his Bachelor of Science in History at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon.