Wolverine Worldwide announces new operating groups

Rockford, Mich. -- Wolverine Worldwide said Tuesday it will make several organizational moves to drive future growth and global brand building in the wake of its October 2012 acquisition of the Performance & Lifestyle Group.

“The acquisition of the Performance & Lifestyle Group has been transformational for our company and has created many new opportunities for global growth, brand building, and operational excellence," said Blake W. Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide chairman and CEO. "Today, we are taking important steps to better align the team and realize our vision of having the best brands, products, operating platform, and consumer experiences in the industry."

The parent of Stride-Rite and Keds brands, among others, said Tuesday that CEO and president of PLG Gregg Ribatt has resigned to pursue other opportunities, following a transition period to aid the company in organizing the new structure.

Under the new structure, the company will migrate from four to three brand operating groups, each led by a group president. The Heritage Group, and comprising the Wolverine, Caterpillar Footwear, Bates, Sebago, Harley-Davidson Footwear, and HyTest brands, will be led by Ted Gedra, a 27-year Wolverine Worldwide veteran.

The Lifestyle Group, comprising the Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite Children's Group, Hush Puppies, Keds, and Soft Style brands, will be led Mark Neal, an 18-year Wolverine veteran.

The Performance Group, comprising the Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, Patagonia Footwear, and Cushe brands, will be led by led by group president Jim Zwiers, a 15-year Wolverine veteran.


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