Wolverine worldwide makes two new leadership appointments

by Stephen Garner
Joelle Grunberg

Wolverine World Wide has named Joelle Grunberg as global president of Sperry and Tom Kennedy as global president of the Wolverine brand. Grunberg joins Wolverine Worldwide from Lacoste, where she served as president and CEO of North and Central America. Kennedy has spent the last three years in Boston leading Sperry and will return to Michigan for his new role with the Wolverine brand, in addition to overseeing the company’s licensing group and becoming a member of its acquisitions team.

Grunberg graduated in 1993 from ESSEC MBA in France and has since had a wide-ranging and successful career in footwear, apparel, and other branded consumer goods, as well as in consulting and accounting. Recently, she was named as one of the top 20 female executives in the retail industry by the Women in Retail Leadership Circle. At Lacoste, she was responsible for retail stores, e-commerce, wholesale, regional product development and all regional support functions in North and Central America. She previously worked for the Celio Group Inc., Louis Pion-Royal Quartz, McKinsey & Company, and Ernst & Young.

“Joelle is a seasoned leader with skills in global, consumer-focused businesses and deep expertise in fashion, apparel, footwear, and accessories,” said Blake W. Krueger, chairman, president, and CEO of Wolverine Worldwide. “She is an excellent addition to our team and we are excited to see Sperry’s direction under her leadership.”

Tom Kennedy

Kennedy joined Wolverine Worldwide in 2015 as president of apparel and accessories, before taking the helm of Sperry in 2017. In addition to his new role with the Wolverine brand, Kennedy will also take on the leadership of the company’s licensing group and join the mergers and acquisitions team, focusing on apparel and accessories opportunities.

“We look forward to Tom Kennedy returning to Michigan after his success with Sperry. Tom is a strategic merchant and leader with extensive apparel experience, which will be instrumental in helping the Wolverine brand expand its product lines and scope,” said Todd Spaletto, president of the Wolverine Michigan Group that includes the Wolverine brand. “Tom’s appointment will accelerate a significant growth opportunity for both Wolverine Worldwide and the Wolverine brand, and we plan to quickly leverage Tom’s expertise.”