VF Corporation has hired the architect of Nike’s sustainability and innovation strategy to run its Global Performance Apparel and Footwear Innovation Centers now being developed on the campuses of The North Face and Timberland.

Dan Cherian was named VFC’s vice president, global innovation, performance apparel and footwear, where he will set global innovation strategies, shape and manage the global product innovation portfolio. The role entails leading all supporting activities taking place at the Performance Apparel Innovation Center under construction on the Alameda, CA campus of The North Face, as well as the Footwear Innovation Center being establishing at Timberland’s headquarters in Stratham, N.H.

Cherian served as general manager and lead, strategic investments and partnerships at Nike from November, 2010 through last month. Prior to that he was general manager of integration for the sustainable business and innovation team, which Nike formed in 2009 to make sustainability a core part of its innovation process. During his tenure, Nike forged partnerships with Bluesign, DyeCoo, NASA and packaged consumer goods companies like Coca-Cola Company to advance sustainable innovation.

VFC unveiled its Innovation Center strategy last year to focus on developing game-changing advancements in apparel, footwear and accessories for its 30-plus brands, which also include Eagle Creek, Jansport, Lucy, Smartwool and Vans.
One of Cherian’s first tasks will be to assemble teams of chemists, scientists, engineers and designers for the Performance Apparel and Footwear Innovation Centers who will combine their expertise in technology and new materials with VFs proprietary insights and deep understanding of consumer needs.

VFs third Innovation Center is dedicated to jeanswear and is near the companys world headquarters in Greensboro, N.C.