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Wolverine Reshuffles Top Management to Fuel Growth

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In an attempt to solidify its leadership team and augment international growth, Wolverine World Wide Inc. (WWW) declared several management changes yesterday.

Firstly, Wolverine appointed James D. Zwiers as its International Group President. During his 16 years of association with the company, Zwiers held several senior positions, such as the President of Performance Group, Hush Puppies USA and Outdoor Group. Zwiers also assumed the role of Senior Vice President, shouldering responsibilities of business development, strategy, legal and consumer direct.

Further, the company appointed Zwiers’ successor, James A. Gabel as the President of Performance Group, which consists of various brands including Merrell, Patagonia Footwear, Chaco, Saucony and Cushe.

Given his aptitude for performance brands, Gabel will likely prove to be an able leader. Prior to this, he was President of adidas Group Canada, before which he served as President of Reebok North America. Gable has also worked with performance brands like Champion and Mizuno.

Alongside, Wolverine named Andrew Simister as the President of its Lifestyle Group, which includes Hush Puppies, Keds, Sperry Top-Sider and the Stride Rite Children's Group. Simister has garnered profound experience while developing robust teams and driving stable sales and earnings, having worked with renowned brands like Lacoste Footwear and Puma at senior positions.

In concurrence with the top-level reshuffling, the company announced the retirement of William J.B. Brown, who served as the first President of the International Group. He had also assumed various important roles in the company throughout his successful career, making significant contributions in strengthening its international foothold.

Management believes that the appointment of these experienced leaders are in sync with its strategic decision of enhancing its international presence, as the company’s global operations have been instrumental in driving its business. It is believed that these management restructuring will position the company well to fuel its growth engine.

Wolverine currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other better-ranked retail stocks worth investment include Skechers USA Inc. (SKX), Carter's, Inc. (CRI) and Iconix Brand Group, Inc. (ICON). While Skechers carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Carter’s and Iconix carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) each.

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