Sperry, a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc., has named Sean McDowell the new vice president of design and product development. In this role, he will focus on driving product innovation for the Sperry brand.
McDowell will report to Joelle Grunberg, a member of Wolverine Worldwide’s Executive Leadership Team and global brand president of Sperry. “Sean has demonstrated a history of leading high-performing teams to design on-trend products and grow profitably by bringing them to market,” said Grunberg. “His many years of experience with global branded footwear companies will help accelerate Sperry’s efforts to create even deeper consumer connections around the world.”
McDowell, shown right, has more than two decades of design experience with a long track record of bringing innovative, award-winning footwear products to market. Most recently, he founded Fountain Design and Innovation, a Boston-based boutique design agency serving a variety of consumer brands. Before that, he held design and product development roles at New Balance, Nike and Converse, including VP and creative director of Nike Running and VP of design, innovation and sustainability at Converse.
“I am excited at the opportunity to lead design and development for an iconic brand like Sperry whose products I’ve worn since my childhood days sailing, windsurfing and waterskiing,” said McDowell. “I feel a kinship with founder Paul Sperry since he was an adventurer and inventor, and I cannot wait to help the team seize the opportunities ahead of us.”
McDowell holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in industrial design and psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. He has been awarded more than 50 U.S. patents, won dozens of international design awards and his work has been displayed in the Smithsonian and Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Photos courtesy Sperry/Sean McDowell