Wolverine worldwide shakes-up two executive positions

by Stephen Garner

Wolverine Worldwide announced on Tuesday that it has named Jim Zwiers as president of its global operations group and Matt Blonder as its new president of global e-commerce.

Zwiers, 52, will be responsible for portfolio-wide sourcing, logistics, distribution, customer service, and information technology. He will also concurrently serve as president of the international group, a position he has held since 2014, and will remain executive vice president of the company and a member of the company’s executive leadership team.

Zwiers has been with Wolverine Worldwide for almost 23 years, serving in many significant operational roles including president of the performance group and president of the outdoor group, along with the leadership of the company’s global e-commerce and retail businesses. He has also held senior operational roles including senior vice president with responsibility for strategy, business development, and legal.

“Jim is uniquely and ideally suited to lead the global operations group, and I could not be more pleased with this expansion of his role,” said Blake Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide’s chairman and chief executive officer. “His extensive experience with the company’s brands and international operations, coupled with his digital background and successful implementation of speed-to-market initiatives, will help accelerate the company’s digital-first transformation and global e-commerce growth.”

Mike Jeppesen

Zwiers succeeds Mike Jeppesen, 60, who will be retiring after more than 33 years in the footwear industry, the last nine of which have been with Wolverine Worldwide. He will remain in an advisory role through mid-year to assist the transition.

“We are grateful to Mike for his many years of dedicated service to both the company and our industry,” added Krueger. “He has been a key advisor to me and a trusted executive leadership team member for many years, and we certainly wish him and his family well as he transitions into a well-deserved retirement.”

Jeppesen commented, “I have been fortunate at Wolverine Worldwide to work with the best team in the industry, and I wish them continued success. Jim is a seasoned leader who knows our industry inside and out, and he is well-positioned to lead the global operations group into the future as the company accelerates its ongoing digital transformation.”

Blonder, who will report to Wolverine Worldwide’s president Brendan Hoffman, is the company’s other major appointment this week.

Blonder brings to Wolverine Worldwide more than 20 years of omnichannel, consumer direct, digital marketing, and merchandising experience across a variety of well-known brands and retailers. Most recently, he was global head of digital at Reebok, a division of Adidas, where he transformed the brand’s digital strategy, led a complete refresh of Reebok.com, revamped the digital consumer experience, and introduced a new global loyalty program.

“Wolverine Worldwide witnessed a dramatic change in consumer behavior last year, highlighted by a significant shift to e-commerce and heightened digital engagement,” said Hoffman. “We capitalized on this by accelerating our pivot to a digital-first strategy and expanding our digital investments and capabilities, all aimed at engaging consumers online with pinnacle brand experiences, fresh and innovative product, and compelling storytelling. The company has set a bold goal to achieve $500 million in global e-commerce revenue for 2021. Matt’s proven track record makes him the ideal person to lead this ongoing digital transformation.”

“I’m excited to join Wolverine Worldwide during a period of unprecedented digital growth for the company and the industry overall,” added Blonder. “The company’s diverse and well-positioned brand portfolio provides many opportunities to accelerate growth in the current environment, as we embrace a consumer direct mindset and forge even stronger connections between global consumers and our brands.”