Wolverine Worldwide announced important organizational changes to strengthen its senior leadership team and help accelerate global growth.
International business development has long been a key driver for Wolverine Worldwide, and in 2011, the Company created a stand-alone International Group to place more focus on accelerating global growth and capitalizing on the significant opportunities that exist for the Company's portfolio of 16 lifestyle brands.
Wolverine is pleased to announce that James D. Zwiers has been appointed President of the International Group. Mr. Zwiers has held numerous and increasingly significant leadership roles during his 16 years with the Company, including President, Performance Group; President, Outdoor Group; President, Hush Puppies USA; and Senior Vice President with responsibilities for strategy, business development, consumer direct and legal.
Wolverine's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Blake W. Krueger, commented, "Our global business model is one of the key differentiators for Wolverine, and Jim Zwiers is uniquely qualified to lead the International Group as the Company expands the reach of its brands around the world. Jim has held significant leadership roles with some of the largest and most international brands in our portfolio, and we are excited to add his talent, passion and experience to the International Group – he is the right leader at the right time for this important part of our business."
The Company is also pleased to announce that James A. Gabel will succeed Mr. Zwiers as President of the Performance Group, which is comprised of the Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, Cushe and Patagonia Footwear brands. Mr. Gabel brings to Wolverine a deep passion for performance brands, having most recently served as President of adidas Group Canada, where he was responsible for the successful growth and development of the adidas, Reebok, Rockport, Ashworth, Adams Golf and TaylorMade brands. Prior to that, Mr. Gabel was President of Reebok North America and also previously served in a variety of key roles with other performance brands that included Champion and Mizuno. Mr. Gabel will report directly to Mr. Krueger and represents a key addition to the Company's senior leadership team.