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Wolverine Seeks New Saucony Prez; Considers Selling Sperry


Anne Cavassa has left her role as Saucony brand president after five years in the position. The process of naming a successor is underway, Wolverine World Wide president, CEO and director Brendan Hoffman said during the company’s Q1 earnings call. In the interim, Chris Hufnagel, President of Wolverine’s Active Brands Group (which includes Merrell, Saucony, Chaco and others), will work more closely with the Saucony team in the brand’s day-to-day operations.

Saucony brand sales rose 6 percent in FY22 to $505 million and were up 21 percent on a reported basis to $133 million in Q1 on gains in performance running and early progress in the brand’s recent pivot to reach active and lifestyle consumers. The parent company sees growth opportunities from Saucony’s Originals business, which continues to be robust in Europe and is said to have great potential elsewhere in the world, including the U.S.

In other news at Wolverine Worldwide, after determining its Sperry business would require investment that would take away from its other expanding business segments, the company has decided to consider all options for the Sperry business. The possibilities include selling Sperry outright, moving forward with Sperry as a joint venture with another company where WWW would retain the intellectual property of the brand and share in the profits, or licensing out the business. Net proceeds from any sale will be used by Wolverine to pay down debt, President and CEO Brendan Hoffman told analysts last week. Sperry sales declined by 13.0 percent in Q1 to $62.9 million and were down 10.2 percent in FY22 to $294.2 million from $327.7 million in FY21.