VF Corp appoints new The North Face president, revises management structure
Denver, Colorado-based apparel and footwear company VF Corporation announced on Tuesday that it has named former Dr Martens CEO Steve Murray as the new global brand president of The North Face and implemented broader organizational changes.
Murray replaces Arne Arens in his new role, which will involve him overseeing all aspects of The North Face’s business. Arens is leaving VF Corp in order to pursue other opportunities.
Up until now, Murray had been serving as VF’s president for the Americas region, a role which has been eliminated as part of the company’s transformation efforts. The executive joined the group as VP for strategic projects in April 2018, having previously held a range of leadership roles at Vans from 1998 to 2009, becoming brand president when VF acquired the business in 2004.
He also served as president of VF’s Action Sports Coalition, before stepping away from the company in 2010.
In his time away from VF, Murray served as brand president at Urban Outfitters, president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Decker’s Outdoor Corporation and, more recently, CEO of Dr Martens, from 2014 to 2017.
Commenting on the executive’s 30-year career in a release, VF Corp chairman, president and CEO Steve Rendle said, “Steve is an incredibly strong and well-respected leader who knows our industry inside and out.”
Tuesday also saw VF announce that the leaders of all three of its core brands, as well as that of its emerging brands division, will now report directly to Rendle.
Aside from Murray, VF brand leaders include Vans global brand president Doug Palladini, and Martino Scabbia Guerrini, who is currently combining his role as president of the EMEA region with that of interim global brand president for Timberland while the company searches for someone who can permanently fill the role.
Kevin Bailey, president of the Asia Pacific region and the emerging brands division, will also now report directly to Rendle.
“As we work to become a more integrated brand-building company, we must operate differently and manage our Core and Emerging Brands in differentiated ways in order to help each of them achieve their full potential,” said the VF CEO. “As we do this, it’s critical that we place our strongest talent on our most important opportunities to drive long-term, sustainable growth across our portfolio and in all geographies.”
Like many companies, VF Corp has suffered from the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In July, the group announced a 48% decline in its second-quarter revenues, which totaled $1.1 billion, while net loss at the company came to $285.6 million, or $0.73 per diluted share.
As VF looks to push through the crisis and return to growth, it is accelerating the development of its digital business, especially in China, where the company recently appointed Winnie Ma as its first-ever president for Greater China.
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