The Stride Rite Children's Group (SRCG) unit of Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group announced that it has appointed Sharon John as its unit president. John will lead SRCG and its expanding portfolio of brands including Stride Rite, Robeez, Saucony Kids, Sperry Top-Sider Kids, Keds Kids, Jessica Simpson Kids, Tommy Hilfiger Kids, and more.

SRCG said John has extensive experience in Children's brands, marketing to moms
and kids, and strong licensing, product development and innovation
expertise at such companies as Hasbro, Inc. and Mattel, Inc., among

John will begin in her new role in late December and report to Gregg Ribatt, president and chief executive officer of the Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group. She will head up all functions of the SRCG team including product creation, sales, marketing, merchandise planning and distribution, as well as retail which includes retail merchandising and operations of more than 350 Stride Rite stores.

“Sharon has an extensive background in children's brands and marketing to moms with an in-depth knowledge of the business from creating innovative new product ideas to the development, marketing and merchandising of great brands and products across the globe,” said Ribatt. “She has worked on a wide array of kids' brands and products including everything from Barbie to My Little Pony and Nerf, drove innovative licensing deals with the latest exciting properties, and created new product ideas such as innovative educational toys. We are thrilled to have her join our team and to leverage her talents and expertise to continue the SRCG mission to be the pre-eminent footwear company for kids creating exciting new, innovative products that kids love and moms trust.”

Collective Brands, Inc., parent company of Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, said that John joining the team aligns with the company's strategy of building stronger consumer connections with its distinct target markets.

“At Collective Brands, a key strategic focus is forging deeper emotional connections with moms and kids,” said Matt Rubel, CEO of Collective Brands, Inc. “We look forward to Sharon joining our team and her leadership and contribution to this important and growing market for our company.”

Since 2002, John had been with Hasbro serving in a range of senior management roles most recently as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Global Preschool where she was in charge of global strategy and marketing for Hasbro's Preschool brand portfolio including Playskool's Mr. Potato Head, Gloworm, among others as well as Play-doh. She started as Vice President of Tiger Electronics and served in roles of increasing responsibility and gaining a broad brand experience eventually managing Hasbro's Boys, Girls and Sports Action divisions.

From 2000 to 2002, she was founder and chief executive officer of Checkerboard Toys, where she re-launched a top-selling fashion doll of the early 1970s (Dawn) with a successful 30th anniversary doll and a limited mass market edition, which received a “Dr. Toy” award. From 1999 to 2000 she was Vice President, US Toy Division with VTech Industries. From 1994 to 1999 John was with Mattel starting out as an Assistant Brand Manager and serving in a range of roles with her most recent role as Vice President, International Marketing for Mattel's Disney Business Unit where she helped reinvigorate the Mattel-Disney relationship and garnered strong licensing expertise.

She started her career in advertising, working in the industry from 1987-1993 at top agencies including DDB Needham Worldwide on the Hershey account and Bates as the Account Supervisor of the SNICKERS/M&M Mars business.

John holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.