New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. recently restructured its Lifestyle category. The restructuring included the promotion of Joe Casagrande to General Manager, Lifestyle and the hiring of Steve Gardner, Strategic Business Unit Manager, Lifestyle.
As New Balance remains on target to reach the company's goal of $3 billion by 2012, the decision to restructure the Lifestyle business unit is in line with the global effort to establish this category as a core New Balance offering in the global footwear market.
In the role of General Manager, Lifestyle, Casagrande will be responsible for aligning the category's global capabilities and strengthen both the PF Flyers and New Balance brands across all markets.
Casagrande's efforts in the recent years with New Balance-owned PF Flyers brand has built a strong foundation of experience in the Lifestyle and fashion world of footwear. “Casagrande's knowledge of the dynamic lifestyle market combined with his leadership abilities will allow us to further establish New Balance's Lifestyle presence in the global footwear industry,” stated Joe Preston, Executive Vice President, Global Footwear, New Balance.
Casagrande earned his Masters in Business Administration from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts from Ithaca College. Casagrande currently resides in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Furthermore, Gardner joins New Balance as the Strategic Business Unit Manager for Lifestyle. Gardner will be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of strategies to achieve brand and financial objectives for the Lifestyle business on a global level.
Gardner comes to New Balance with more than 20 years in the industry with a broad base of both U.S. and international experience. Most recently at Reebok, Gardner led the brand's Lifestyle and Classics business from 1999 to 2006. Additional former responsibilities included leading Reebok Canada Sales & Marketing, directing Custom Footwear as well as International product roles. Gardner brings an overall strong product background, global experience and business acumen to the New Balance Lifestyle team.
A resident of Canton, MA, Gardner earned his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Bentley College.