Wolverine World Wide, Inc. reported it intends to improve operating performance, fuel global growth and enable future investments into Sweaty Betty, the women’s activewear brand it acquired in August 2021.
Sweaty Betty will now report into Wolverine Worldwide’s London-based International Group, which is responsible for the company’s operations outside the U.S. This move will more closely align Sweaty Betty with Wolverine’s global centers of excellence.
“Bringing Sweaty Betty under Isabel Soriano and the International Group fits perfectly with our strategy to prioritize resources and support to the brands with the biggest global growth opportunities,” said Brendan Hoffman, Wolverine Worldwide’s president and CEO. “Our regional teams have deep commercial experience in key international markets and are well-positioned to bring their sourcing, logistics, technology, and operational expertise to help accelerate Sweaty Betty’s growth.”
As part of this transition, several opportunities have been identified to better align Sweaty Betty’s cost structure to Wolverine’s other brands and enable future investments. These include consolidating London office space, securing savings through Wolverine’s new Profit Improvement Office, and proposing a U.K. workforce reduction. The expected impact of these actions is reflected in the company’s 2023 guidance.
“These decisions were not taken lightly but are necessary in order to position Sweaty Betty for long-term success,” said Julia Straus, CEO of Sweaty Betty. As previously announced, Straus will be leaving the business in June 2023 and returning to the U.S. to be closer to family. A search for her successor is already underway.
Isabel Soriano, president of Wolverine Worldwide’s International Group, added: “I am excited about the future opportunities for Sweaty Betty, leveraging the full resources and expertise of our global team to support and enable the brand’s mission to empower women around the world through fitness and beyond. I look forward to partnering with Julia as we work through this transition over the coming months.”
Photo courtesy Sweaty Betty