The Stride Rite Corp, the owner of Saucony, Hind and Keds, announced that long-time CEO, David Chamberlain plans to retire in 2007 from his position as CEO. Chamberlain, 63, will continue to serve as chairman and CEO until a replacement has taken office, and will remain on the board after his retirement.

A search committee to find a new CEO has been formed and Spencer Stuart, an executive recruiting firm, was retained as part of the process. The search process, which is already underway, will include a full review of both internal and external candidates.

Chamberlain, who has been chairman and CEO since joining the company in November 1999, said, “I am extremely proud of our accomplishments over the past seven years, and I believe now is the appropriate time to put Stride Rite’s next generation of leadership in place. The company has made great progress in recent years. We have strengthened Stride Rite’s existing portfolio of nationally recognized footwear brands and significantly expanded our portfolio with the acquisitions of Saucony and Robeez. We also have built strong management teams. I intend to work closely with the Board over the coming months to help identify, select, and successfully integrate a new CEO. I look forward to continued growth of the company under new leadership.”

“We are grateful to David for his extraordinary service to Stride Rite. He has guided the company exceptionally well through a period of significant development and we are confident that he is leaving Stride Rite with the right strategy and team in place to ensure the Company’s continued success,” said Frank Mori, lead independent director. “The search to identify a new CEO is well underway and we will work diligently to bring the process to a successful conclusion.”

Chamberlain has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Stride Rite since joining the company in November 1999. Prior to joining Stride Rite, Mr. Chamberlain was Chairman of the Board of Genesco, Inc., a footwear company, from 1994 to 1999 and also served as president and CEO of Genesco from 1994 to 1996.

The Stride Rite Corporation markets footwear under the Keds, PRO-Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Tommy Hilfiger Footwear, Saucony, Robeez, Grasshoppers, Munchkin, and Spot-bilt names.