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Caleres: Diane Sullivan to step down as CEO, successor announced

By Huw Hughes

26 Jul 2022


Image: Jay Schmidt and Diane Sullivan | Credit: Caleres

US footwear group Caleres has announced that CEO Diane Sullivan is to step down after more than a decade in the role to assume the position of executive chair.

Sullivan joined Caleres as president in 2004 before taking on the additional role of chief operating officer in 2006. She was then appointed CEO and president in 2011, before being named CEO, president, and chair of the board in 2014.

“It has been an honor to serve as Caleres’ chief executive officer over the course of the past 11 years,” Sullivan said in a statement. “While I am ready to hand over the reins as CEO, I am thrilled about the opportunity to continue to work with the board and the Caleres leadership team in this new capacity.”

From January 15, 2023, Jay Schmidt will take over as chief executive. Schmidt joined the group in 2009, and in 2020 was promoted to president, at which point he assumed responsibility for consumer and brand strategy for the entire Caleres portfolio.

Earlier in his career, he spent ten years with Nine West Group, most recently serving as group president.

Top changes at Caleres

Incoming CEO Schmidt commented: “I am humbled and excited for the opportunity to lead Caleres and build on the strong foundation that Diane has established.

“I look forward to working with the entire Caleres team as we leverage our powerful portfolio of brands and our deep knowledge of the consumer to drive further progress across our key strategic initiatives and deliver exceptional value for all our stakeholders.”

In the first quarter ended April 30, Caleres reported record net sales of 735.1 million dollars, up 15.1 percent from the prior year.

It also made record first quarter earnings per diluted share of 1.32 dollars, up from 0.16 dollars a year earlier.

Based on its performance, the group upped its FY22 sales and earnings per share guidance. It now expects consolidated sales to be between 2 percent and 5 percent higher than FY21 levels, and earnings per diluted share to be between 4.20 dollars and 4.40 dollars.