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International Group will market WWW brands outside NA
Jan '11
Wolverine World Wide Inc announced several key organizational changes designed to better align resources across its brand portfolio and accelerate growth in important international markets.

For over 50 years, Wolverine World Wide has been respected for its impressive track record in building brands around the world. The Company was one of the very first footwear or apparel companies to seek opportunities outside the United States when it introduced the Hush Puppies brand into international markets in 1959. Wolverine World Wide currently has one of the strongest networks of international partners in the industry, and today announced that it is implementing changes to its organization that will enhance the Company's ability to capitalize on global opportunities and expand its international leadership position.

The Company is reorganizing to provide a sharper focus on the significant global opportunities that exist for each of its 12 brands, and will create a stand-alone International Group, with responsibility for driving growth of all of the Company's brands in all markets outside of North America. This new structure will enable the Company to develop and implement specific regional strategies and ensure the full power of the brand portfolio is brought to market.

The newly created International Group will be led by Bill Brown, a 24-year veteran of the Company. As President of the International Group, Mr. Brown will report directly to the Company's Chairman and CEO, Blake W. Krueger. Mr. Brown most recently led the former Heritage Brands Group and has served in numerous senior brand management and international positions throughout his career with the Company, including roles with Hush Puppies, Wolverine, Caterpillar Footwear, Harley-Davidson Footwear, Sebago and Merrell.

In addition to the new International Group, which will be responsible for the market development, selling activities and local market execution for all brands outside of North America, the Company is also announcing today that it will reorganize its portfolio into three branded wholesale operating groups:

• The Outdoor Group, comprised of the Merrell, Chaco and Patagonia Footwear brands, led by Jim Zwiers;

• The Heritage Group, comprised of the Wolverine, Caterpillar Footwear, Bates, Harley-Davidson Footwear and HyTest brands, led by Ted Gedra; and

• The Lifestyle Group, comprised of the Hush Puppies, Cushe and Sebago brands, led by Mark Neal.

Reporting to Mr. Brown as the new Managing Director – EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), will be Onder Ors. Mr. Ors served most recently as Senior Vice President, International for the Outdoor Group, and has been instrumental in the global growth of the Merrell brand over the last five years. Also reporting to Mr. Brown will be Baffin Yip (Vice President of Greater China), Sanjay Mehra (Vice President of India), Sean Carney (Vice President – International for the Heritage Group), Bill Mirecki (Vice President – International for the Lifestyle Group), Linda Brunzell (Vice President – International for the Outdoor Group) and John MacLeod (Vice President of Finance and Special Projects – International Group).

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