Wolverine World Wide, Inc.'s President and COO Blake W. Krueger became CEO and president, pursuant to the succession plan previously approved by the company's Board of Directors. Krueger succeeds former CEO Timothy J. O'Donovan, who was re-elected Chairman of the Board.
“I am extremely pleased to announce this important step, which will enhance our leadership team and strengthen our organization for continued global growth,” said O'Donovan. “Blake has been an integral driver of the Company's expanded global presence and evolution into a billion dollar enterprise which markets branded lifestyle footwear and apparel. His vast experiences at Wolverine have given him first-hand knowledge of nearly every aspect of the Company and the dynamic landscape of lifestyle consumer brands.”
Krueger most recently served as president and COO of Wolverine World Wide and has been a director of the company since July 2006. Previously, he served as president of the Heritage Brands Group, one of the company's four branded global operating units, where he spearheaded the successful revitalization of the global Caterpillar Footwear business that has led to significant sales and profit increases over the past several years. Prior to that position, he served for 10 years as an EVP and officer of the company with responsibilities for the human resources, retail, business development, accessory licensing, acquisitions and legal areas.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Tim since beginning my career at Wolverine,” said Krueger. “I look forward to continuing that working relationship and benefiting from Tim's guidance and counsel as Chairman of the Board.”
Under O'Donovan's leadership, Wolverine World Wide increased global footwear sales from approximately 37 million pairs in 1999 to nearly 47 million pairs in 2006. During the same time period, the company significantly expanded its operations in North American and Europe, and increased its portfolio of brands' presence from 132 countries to nearly 180 countries around the globe. Also during this time, the market capitalization of Wolverine expanded from $385 million to more than $1.6 billion.
In his new role, O'Donovan said he will focus on working closely with Blake and the management team as the Company continues building a portfolio of global lifestyle brands and pursues the significant opportunities that lie ahead.