Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is reorganizing its brand group structure into the Active, Work, and Lifestyle Groups to “better leverage common product and consumer categories, align with the company’s view of its global portfolio and provide increased transparency to investors.” 

The company also added new leadership to the groups to “better position each brand for success.”

WWW also established a Profit Improvement Office to accelerate cost savings and efficiencies to “accelerate operating margin expansion and provide capacity for future investments.”

“The new group reporting structure announced today is a natural progression of our business as it combines brands that share similar traits under one segment, which we expect will pave the way for increased collaboration, sharing of best practices, and, ultimately, value creation for our shareholders,” said Brendan Hoffman, WWW’ president and CEO.

“Our company possesses the exceptional talent, powerful brands and a strong operating platform. I believe this new group structure will unlock our potential to not only grow faster but also become a more efficient and simplified organization that delivers industry-leading margins,” continued Hoffman. “With this in mind, we are also announcing today the establishment of a Profit Improvement Office to identify cost savings, increase efficiencies and enable investments that will fuel our future growth. Our overarching goal is to deliver consistent and enhanced revenue and profit growth that will put the business on an accelerated path to return to and ultimately exceed 12 percent operating margin. I firmly believe the changes announced today are fundamental steps towards achieving our goals.”

Effective in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2022, the three reportable segments are:

Active Group (Merrell footwear and apparel, Saucony footwear and apparel, Sweaty Betty activewear, and Chaco footwear, is led by President Chris Hufnagel. Saucony and Chaco brands also report to Hufnagel, who continues leading the Merrell brand. The Sweaty Betty brand continues reporting to Brendan Hoffman.

Hufnagel is a 14-year veteran of the company and has held leadership roles, including global president of Merrell since September 2019, global president of Cat Footwear, and corporate senior vice president and head of strategy. Before joining WWW, Hufnagel held senior leadership roles at Under Armour, Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch.

Work Group (Wolverine footwear and apparel, Cat footwear, Bates uniform footwear, Harley-Davidson footwear, and HyTest safety footwear.) is led by president Tom Kennedy. The Wolverine, CAT Footwear, Bates, Harley-Davidson Footwear, and Hytest brands will continue reporting to Kennedy, a 7-year veteran of the company who has held leadership roles, including global president of Sperry and president of apparel and accessories. Before joining WWW, Kennedy held senior leadership positions at Nike, Gap, Fossil, and PacSun.

Lifestyle Group (Sperry footwear, Keds footwear, and Hush Puppies footwear and apparel) is led by president Katherine Cousins, who joined the company as president of Sperry in 2021 and has overseen Keds since the beginning of 2022. Before joining WWW, Cousins was the vice president and general manager of the Kodiak, Terr, and Work Authority brands at VF Corp. and led global strategy, consumer research, licensing, and accessories for Timberland.

Kids footwear results from Saucony, Sperry, Keds, Merrell, Hush Puppies, and Cat will report within the applicable brand.

“Our new reporting structure will allow us to focus on the brands and product categories with the biggest opportunities to maximize future value creation. We will prioritize future investments and resource allocation to the areas that we expect to generate the greatest return,” said Mike Stornant, EVP/CFO. “This new segment presentation also provides investors and other stakeholders improved visibility into the underlying performance and results.”

Photo courtesy WWW