Stride Rite is one of the many brands by Rockford-based Wolverine Worldwide, a maker of footwear and apparel. Photo via wikimedia.org
A man with more than 30 years of experience working in the footwear and apparel industries has been named a group president at Wolverine Worldwide.
Beginning on Jan. 3, Richie Woodworth will lead the Lifestyle Group, which includes the brands Sperry, Stride Rite, Keds and Hush Puppies.
Woodworth will report directly to Blake Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide's chairman, president and CEO.
He replaces Andy Simister, who's leaving the company to return to the U.K. for personal reasons.
Woodworth will focus on growing the group’s brands, using their “authentic brand equities,” combined with understanding consumers’ needs and developing carefully considered and innovative products and applying compelling storytelling.
Woodworth said he’s “excited about this new opportunity.”
Most recently, Woodworth has led the global growth of Wolverine Worldwide's Saucony brand.
Previously, he held various executive roles, including president of Tommy Hilfiger Footwear and president of the Greg Norman Collection at Reebok.
Krueger said Woodworth has “continuously proven his ability to build brands and drive growth in some of the most-competitive categories within the footwear and apparel industry.”
Krueger said during his time with Saucony, Woodworth “built a dynamic lifestyle business, a strong and growing international business and successfully launched apparel and accessories.”