Wolverine World Wide, which operates a large portfolio of lifestyle and brands, has named Tom Long its next chairman.
Long will move into the role on May 4, following the retirement of Wolverine’s current chairman Blake Krueger, who is also the former chief executive officer of Wolverine.
Long currently serves as the board’s lead independent director.
The changes are occurring during a crucial period for the company as it undergoes turnaround efforts. Last quarter, the company fell deeper into the red; however, revenues grew significantly. Wolverine has been simplifying its business, reducing inventory, morphing into more of a direct-to-consumer business, and focusing on smarter investments.
Last year, the company reorganized from its former Michigan and Boston brand groups to active, lifestyle and work groups to help clarify the business and achieve greater synergies. Recently, the company sold the Keds brand to Designer Brands Inc., the parent company of footwear retailer DSW.
Wolverine World Wide’s portfolio includes Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Sweaty Betty, Hush Puppies and Wolverine, among other brands.
Krueger has been with Wolverine for about 30 years, through a series of executive roles culminating in his appointment as CEO and board member in 2007, then as CEO and chairman of the board in 2010. He retired as CEO at the end of 2021, and since then has continued to lead the board of directors as executive chairman in 2022 and as chairman this year. Brendan Hoffman serves as CEO.
Long joined Wolverine’s board in 2011 after a 30-year career that included serving as CEO of MillerCoors, LLC; CEO and chief marketing officer of Miller Brewing Company, and in several senior global and marketing roles at Coca-Cola. He was appointed lead independent director of Wolverine’s board in 2022, and previously served as chair of the compensation committee.
“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Blake for his many years of dedication and service to the company and its shareholders,” Long said. “During his long tenure the company transformed from a traditional footwear wholesaler into a consumer-focused, global organization with one of the world’s largest portfolios of footwear and lifestyle brands.”
Hoffman added: “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work closely with and learn from Blake since I joined the company in August 2020.
“It has been an absolute privilege and honor to have served Wolverine World Wide for the past 30 years, and to have played a role in the company’s successful 140-year history,” Krueger said.
The company also revealed the appointment of Stacia Andersen, Jodi Bricker and DeMonty Price to its board.
Andersen, 52, currently serves as the executive vice president and chief customer officer of PetSmart. Bricker, 55, is the CEO of Quay Australia, a global eyewear brand. Price, 61, recently retired after five years as the president and chief operating, service and values officer of RH.
Finally, David McCreight, a director since 2019, has revealed his resignation from the board of to devote his full attention to his role as executive chairman of Lulu’s Fashion Lounge Holdings Inc.