Timberland, a leading global outdoor lifestyle brand, announced that Stewart Whitney has been promoted to brand president effective October 5, 2014. Whitney, who has successfully led Timberland’s growth in the Asia Pacific region since 2008, will report to Patrik Frisk, who has held the position since the brand’s 2011 acquisition by VF Corporation. In April, Frisk was promoted to coalition president, Outdoor Americas for VF.
Whitney is currently vice president and managing director for the Timberland® and Napapijri brands in Asia. During his tenure, Timberland’s Asia business has more than doubled. Whitney began his career with Timberland in 2000 as part of the global marketing team, focused on the Timberland PRO business, which serves the industrial and commercial markets. In the eight years that followed, his responsibilities expanded to include leadership roles in product, sales and ultimately general management. A native of Michigan, Whitney and his family will relocate from Hong Kong to New Hampshire this fall.
“Stewart’s 14-year tenure at Timberland, balanced leadership style and brand perspective are uniquely positioned to help drive sustainable, long-term growth,” said Patrik Frisk, coalition president, Outdoor Americas for VF. “While in Asia, he’s led the significant expansion of our direct-to-consumer footprint in a way that showcases the breadth of our product offerings and aligns with our consumer – all while ensuring Timberland’s unique values and culture have thrived within our Asian team. We’re excited to welcome Stewart to the brand’s top position, and look forward to his many contributions as the Timberland brand enters into its next chapter of growth.”
Additional Leadership Changes Set the Stage for Continued Growth
Replacing Whitney in Asia will be John Gearing, who joined VF’s Asia Pacific business in 2011 and has most recently served as vice president and managing director, direct to consumer and multi-channel development. Gearing’s new role is vice president and managing director, Timberland and Sportswear VF, Asia Pacific.
Additionally, Timberland announced further promotions to support the brand in its mission to be the world’s largest outdoor lifestyle brand. Timberland veteran Lisa Demarkis, previously global vice president of footwear, assumes a newly created role of global vice president of product, overseeing footwear and apparel product creation.
Chris Pawlus, senior global creative director has been promoted to vice president, global product creative director and will now oversee both footwear and apparel. And Jeff Thompson, vice president, global footwear product development, is promoted to vice president of footwear, with responsibility for product management, development, engineering, materials and costing. Combined, these three leaders have nearly 50 years of Timberland experience.
“To empower the significant growth ahead for the Timberland brand, we need to connect with our end consumer from head to toe,” continued Frisk. “These promotions enhance our ability to deliver authentic, trend-right footwear and apparel collections that resonate around the world. This is the next generation of Timberland, and I can’t imagine a more passionate or talented team to get us there.”