Wolverine Worldwide appoints new presidents for international business and Sperry brand
Outdoor apparel and footwear group Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (Wolverine Worldwide), the owner of brands including Wolverine, Merrell, Saucony and Sperry, announced on Tuesday that it has named Isabel Soriano as president of international, while Katherine Cousins is joining the company as global brand president of the Sperry footwear brand.
In her new role, Soriano will oversee all of the Rockford, Michigan-based company’s international regions, which include Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA), Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Canada. She will join Wolverine Worldwide’s executive leadership team and report directly to the company’s president, Brendan Hoffman.
Soriano first joined Wolverine Worldwide as vice president and managing director of EMEA in 2018. Prior to this, she served as vice president and general manager for Vans, Timberland and Kipling in South America at VF Corp.
The executive, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Madrid’s Universidad Pontificia Comillas, also worked as VP for global distributors at Timberland, as well as country manager for Iberia at the brand before its acquisition by VF in 2011.
“After successfully leading our EMEA region for the past three years, I am delighted to announce Isabel’s appointment as President of International,” said Hoffman in a release. “Her breadth and depth of experience within the industry and Company, coupled with strong knowledge of key markets, makes her well-positioned to help accelerate the significant growth we are seeing in our international business.”
Cousins will succeed Joelle Grunberg in her new global brand president position, in which she will lead the Sperry brand’s operations around the globe. She will also report directly to Hoffman.
Like Soriano, she joins Wolverine Worldwide from VF Corp, where she spent the last 10 years, having previously worked as senior director for global strategy and investor relations, and director for business development at The Timberland Company prior to its acquisition by the conglomerate.
In her most recent role at VF, she served as VP and general manager of workwear brands Kodiak, Terra and Work Authority.
Cousins, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, is a founding member of the Leadership Now Project and sits on the board of 1% for the Planet.
“Katherine’s proven track record with consumer-obsessed lifestyle brands makes her the ideal leader to propel Sperry forward, and I am thrilled to welcome her as its next Global Brand President,” explained Hoffman. “Her deep industry knowledge and omni-channel experience will help build on the brand’s recent successes, particularly at Sperry.com and Sperry retail stores.”
Wolverine Worldwide reported annual revenues of $1.8 billion in 2020, down 21.2% from 2019, while the company’s full-year net loss came to $136.9 million.
In the first quarter ended April 3, 2021, the group achieved revenues of $510.7 million, representing a year-over-year increase of 16.3%. The company currently expects to report annual revenue in the range of $2.24 billion to $2.30 billion this year.
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