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Twin Wolverine Executive Appointments Set the Stage for Digital Focus

Wolverine Worldwide has brought in a former Reebok executive to helm e-commerce as it shoots to more than double its 2019 digital revenue this year.

The Michigan-based footwear giant—parent to brands like Saucony, Chaco and Merrell—appointed Matt Blonder president, global e-commerce. In his new position, Blonder will report directly to Wolverine Worldwide president Brendan Hoffman.

“Wolverine Worldwide witnessed a dramatic change in consumer behavior last year, highlighted by a significant shift to e-commerce and heightened digital engagement,” Hoffman said in a statement. “We capitalized on this by accelerating our pivot to a digital-first strategy and expanding our digital investments and capabilities, all aimed at engaging consumers online with pinnacle brand experiences, fresh and innovative product and compelling storytelling.”

According to Hoffman, Wolverine is looking to achieve $500 million in global e-commerce revenue this year. “Matt’s proven track record makes him the ideal person to lead this ongoing digital transformation,” he said.

Blonder brings more than 20 years of omni-channel, consumer direct, digital marketing and merchandising experience to his new role. Most recently, he served as global head of digital at Reebok, where he led a complete refresh of the company website and introduced a new global loyalty program.

“The company’s diverse and well-positioned brand portfolio provides many opportunities to accelerate growth in the current environment, as we embrace a consumer-direct mindset and forge even stronger connections between global consumers and our brands,” Blonder said in a statement.

Wolverine Worldwide named Matt Blonder president, global e-commerce
Matt Blonder Wolverine Worldwide

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In the third quarter ended Sept. 26, Wolverine reported year-on-year owned e-commerce growth of more than 56 percent. According to chairman and CEO Blake Krueger, owned e-commerce and the online business of Wolverine’s wholesale partners accounted for more than 40 percent of third-quarter U.S. revenue.

Wolverine also appointed its own Jim Zwiers president, global operations group, where he will be responsible for portfolio-wide sourcing, logistics, distribution, customer service and information technology. Zwiers will continue to serve as president, international group, and remain executive vice president and a member of Wolverine’s executive leadership Team.

“Jim is uniquely and ideally suited to lead the global operations group, and I could not be more pleased with this expansion of his role,” Krueger said in a statement. “His extensive experience with the company’s brands and international operations, coupled with his digital background and successful implementation of speed-to-market initiatives, will help accelerate the company’s digital-first transformation and global e-commerce growth.”

Zwiers has worked at Wolverine for nearly 23 years, including as president of the performance group and president of the outdoor group. He has held his position as president of the international group since 2014.

He succeeds Mike Jeppesen, who is retiring after more than 33 years in footwear, the last nine of which he has spent at Wolverine. Jeppesen will remain in an advisory role through mid-year to assist with the transition.