ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — Wolverine Worldwide has announced a new CEO and office changes in the wake of a “disappointing” outlook for the second half of the year, the company said.
Chris Hufnagel, president of the company since May, will now also serve as CEO, Wolverine announced in a Thursday release.
Hufnagel has been with Wolverine Worldwide since 2008, serving in leadership roles such as president of the active group, global brand president of Merrell and CAT Footwear. He also spent time as president of direct-to-consumer and senior vice president of strategy.
He replaces Brendan L. Hoffman, who is no longer with the company, the release said. Hoffman joined the company as president in September 2020 and was terminated without cause by Wolverine’s board on Aug. 6, according to Crain’s Grand Rapids Business. In the filing, Wolverine said the leave “was not the result of any dispute or disagreement relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices,” Crain’s reports.
“I am honored to step in as CEO at this critical moment for the Company,” Hufnagel said in a release. “I have had the privilege of working with many teams across this organization over the past 15 years, and we have what it takes to build a stronger, more resilient company. I look forward to working with the entire team to continue to improve profitability, generate growth, and create shareholder value.”
Crain’s reports that in an investor presentation Thursday, the company also announced it would be consolidating its national offices to its global headquarters in Rockford. Its goal is to “(streamline) the organization to align with a more focused portfolio and our key growth priorities,” Wolverine said.
After acquiring Collective Brands Inc. — which includes Sperry, Saucony and Keds — in 2012, those brands and Wolverine’s Kids Group have been based in Waltham Massachusetts, along with some e-commerce, I.T., human resources and operations personnel, according to the company’s website.
It was not clear how many people Wolverine employed at the Massachusetts office.
The new CEO promotion and announcement of consolidation comes as Wolverine reported its second quarter financial results. According to Crain’s, Wolverine reported an over 17% drop in revenues for the three-month period. Net earnings for the quarter were $24.4 million, whereas the same period last year netted $124.5 million.
The company expected to end the year with revenues 10% to 10.7% lower than 2022, Crain’s reports.
“Our second half outlook, as reflected in our updated annual guidance, is disappointing but we are confident that the work we are undertaking will drive significant profit improvement in 2024 and quickly set a strong growth foundation for the company,” Hufnagel said in a statement on the earnings. “The current adversity has not only deepened our conviction that our strategic direction is more correct than ever, but that we must execute it with greater boldness and speed.”