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Wolverine Worldwide Restructures Brand Operating Groups

Wolverine Worldwide announced Friday a new brand operating group structure for all of its brands.

Effectively immediately, Chaco, Merrell, Cat Footwear, Hush Puppies and Sebago will live under the newly created Wolverine Outdoor and Lifestyle Group. The Wolverine Boston Group will include Sperry, Saucony and Keds. The Wolverine Heritage Group will include Wolverine, Bates, Harley-Davidson Footwear HyTest.

The new groups are in addition to existing divisions, including a dedicated International Group for regions outside of North America and the Consumer Direct Group, which leads the company’s direct-to-consumer initiatives and includes the Stride Rite Children’s Group.

Wolverine Worldwide announced leadership appointments for the new groups. Jim Zwiers, who recently served as president of the International Group, will take on the role as president of the Wolverine Outdoor and Lifestyle Group. He will also serve as president of Merrell until the position of filled.

Nick Ottenwess will succeed Zwiers in the role of president of the International Group. Most recently, Ottenwess was the International Group’s senior vice president of finance and operations.

Richie Woodworth, recently named president of the Lifestyle Group, will now lead the Wolverine Boston Group as president. Ted Gedra, a 30-year veteran of Wolverine Worldwide, will continue to serve as president of the Wolverine Heritage Group.
The company also announced that Jim Gabel has resigned his position as president of the Performance Group and will be relocating back to Canada for personal reasons.

In a statement, Wolverine Worldwide Chairman, CEO and President Blake Krueger said he was pleased to “have the talent and depth to promote from within the organization.”