Wolverine Worldwide makes leadership appointments

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Isabel Soriano Courtesy Wolverine Worldwide

Wolverine Worldwide promoted an employee to its executive leadership team and hired a new global brand president of Sperry.

The Rockford-based maker of footwear and apparel said last week that it appointed Isabel Soriano as president of international and Katherine Cousins as global brand president of Sperry.

Soriano joined Wolverine Worldwide in 2018 as vice president and managing director of Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA), responsible for leading all company brands in the region, including Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Cat Footwear, Hush Puppies and Keds. With her promotion to president of international, Soriano will now oversee all international regions for the company, including EMEA, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Canada. She joins the company’s executive leadership team and will report to Brendan Hoffman, president of Wolverine Worldwide.

Katherine Cousins Courtesy Wolverine Worldwide

“After successfully leading our EMEA region for the past three years, I am delighted to announce Isabel’s appointment as president of international,” Hoffman said. “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.”

Prior to joining Wolverine Worldwide, Soriano was vice president and general manager for Vans, Timberland and Kipling in South America at VF Corporation. She also held several positions of increasing responsibility in sales, global distribution and brand growth at Timberland and Nike. Soriano earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidad Pontificia Comillas.

“Wolverine Worldwide has a proven track record of developing robust international markets and investing in them to fuel growth,” Soriano said. “This focus and a strong team have allowed our EMEA region to thrive, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to now lead all of our international regions as we continue our growth trajectory.”

Cousins, a consumer-focused and digital leader, brings a wealth of experience from a variety of senior executive roles in footwear, licensing and accessories. In her new role as global brand president of Sperry, she will report to Hoffman and succeed Joelle Grunberg, who will be assisting with the transition and other special projects.

Cousins most recently served as the vice president and general manager of Kodiak, Terra and Work Authority at VF Corporation, leading all global functions for this portfolio of outdoor lifestyle and work safety brands. Previously, she led the global strategy, consumer research, licensing and accessories functions for Timberland, and before that, she headed investor relations and business development for Timberland.

“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,” Hoffman said. “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.”

Cousins earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She sits on the board for 1% for the Planet and is a founding member of the Leadership Now Project.

“I’m delighted to join Wolverine Worldwide and honored for the opportunity to lead an iconic brand like Sperry,” Cousins said. “Sperry’s rich heritage and on-trend product pipeline resonate with consumers around the world, and I am passionate about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

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