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Troubled Toms Shoes Switches CEOs After Debt Deal

In the midst of restructuring, Magnus Wedhammar, who most recently was a senior executive at footwear brand Sanuk, has joined Toms Shoes as CEO, replacing Jim Alling.

Magnus brings more than 25 years of experience in the footwear, apparel, and accessories industry in the U.S. and European markets. A spokeswoman said his leadership “will help position the company for sustained growth, while fulfilling the Toms mission of using business to improve lives.”

The CEO switch comes a month after Toms announced an agreement to cede control to creditors in exchange for a debt restructuring plan. Reuters reported that Toms Shoes LLC will now be jointly owned by Jefferies Financial Group Inc., Nexus Capital Management LP and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Previously, brand ownership was split between founder Blake Mycoskie and Bain Capital, which acquired a 50 percent stake in the company in 2014, valuing Toms at $625 million.

The move to hand over ownership came after Toms was reportedly unable to repay a $300 million loan due this year without renegotiating with its creditors. The new owners are said to be investing $35 million in the company.

Alling, who was previously the chief operating officer of T-Mobile, was brought on as CEO of Toms after the Bain acquisition to help “streamline” the brand’s supply chain, which has since expanded and diversified. Toms branched out from footwear into broader lifestyle territory, launching Toms Roasting Co., a premium coffee brand, and Toms Eyewear.

Following a one-for-one model, a purchase of eyewear from the brand previously included a donation of prescription glasses and additional medical treatment in areas with limited access to optical care.

In November, Toms said it would discontinue this policy, opting for a more straightforward giving model that sends one-third of the profits made on a given purchase to a “giving fund” that then distributes donations to various charities.

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