Wolverine World Wide, Inc. has announced that Brendan Hoffman, president and a member of the company’s board of directors, will also become chief executive officer at the end of the year. The company said, Hoffman will succeed Blake Krueger, who began his career with the company in 1993 and has been CEO since 2007 and chairman of the board since 2009. As part of the transition, the company added, Krueger will assume the newly created role of executive chairman of Wolverine Worldwide.
“I would like to thank Blake and the board for their support and the opportunity to lead Wolverine Worldwide into its next phase of global growth. It’s been a privilege to work closely with Blake over the past year and I have gained tremendous knowledge of the industry and the unique strengths of the company’s global brand portfolio.”
Brendan Hoffman is the new CEO of Wolverine Worldwide
Hoffman, 52, the company said, joined Wolverine Worldwide as president in September 2020 with oversight of the company’s brands and direct to consumer business, reporting directly to Krueger. Hoffman’s initial focus has been pursuing growth initiatives across Wolverine Worldwide’s brands and digital operations, with one of his primary objectives being to drive the company’s ecommerce revenue goal of 500 million dollars for 2021, doubling 2019 levels.
Before joining Wolverine Worldwide, Hoffman was CEO of Vince Holding Corp., a publicly traded, global contemporary fashion brand. Prior to joining Vince in 2015, Hoffman was CEO and president of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. and president and CEO of Lord & Taylor LLC. In addition, he was CEO and resident of Neiman Marcus Direct earlier in his career, helping to grow Neimanmarcus.com and launch Bergdorfgoodman.com.
Blake Krueger to become executive chairman of Wolverine Worldwide
The company added that as executive chairman, Krueger, 67, will continue to lead Wolverine Worldwide’s board of directors and will partner with Hoffman on key international and strategic initiatives.
“Blake has been a leader in the footwear industry for almost three decades, and it’s been an honor to work closely with him and the Wolverine Worldwide team during his tenure,” said David T. Kollat, lead independent director for Wolverine Worldwide since 2007 and a Director since 1992, adding, “On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Blake for his passion, dedication, and exceptional leadership as CEO of Wolverine Worldwide.
Under Krueger’s leadership as CEO, Wolverine Worldwide said, the company has transformed from a traditional footwear wholesaler into a consumer-obsessed, digital-focused growth company with one of the world’s largest portfolios of footwear and lifestyle brands. He led the company’s acquisitions of the Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Stride Rite, Keds, and Chaco brands, opening up new market segments and consumer territories.
During his tenure the company expanded its international distribution to more than 170 countries and territories, increased revenue to well over 2 billion dollars and market capitalization by 30-fold, and grew the brand portfolio into a global industry-leading powerhouse.
“It has been an honour and privilege to serve Wolverine Worldwide for the past 28 years, working with and helping to build an amazing and impactful global team, brand portfolio, and footwear and lifestyle mainstay. I look forward to continuing my work with Wolverine Worldwide and the board in my new role as executive chairman,” said Krueger.