17 Sep Asics Appoints Gene McCarthy to Head Asics America
Asics announced the retirement of Asics America Group President and CEO, Kevin Wulff, and the hiring of industry veteran Gene McCarthy to join the company as the CEO of its largest region, which comprises the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. McCarthy, who most recently led Merrell, will join the company effective October 1, 2015, and Wulff will retire at the end of this year.
In early May, Wolverine World Wide Inc. confirmed that McCarthy, Merrell brand’s president since August 2013, had left the company, effective May. 4.
“Kevin has been a tremendous leader, driving significant growth for the company and helping to position Asics as a true multi-sport performance brand. Asics America is very well-positioned for continued success, thanks in large part to Kevin’s efforts over the last five years,” said Motoi Oyama, CEO, Asics Corporation. “We are also thrilled to welcome industry veteran Gene McCarthy to the Asics family, and believe he is the perfect person to help drive our business and brand forward, given his impressive track record and vision in the industry.”
Wulff joined Asics America as president in February 2010 and was named CEO in August 2010. He led the region during a period of significant growth, taking annual sales from approximately $680 million to a record of over $1 billion in 2014. During his tenure, the expanded apparel category surpassed the $100 million mark, and brand marketing was refreshed to position Asics as a leading multi-sport brand. He transformed Asics’ lifestyle category and launched Direct to Consumer. Wulff was instrumental in expanding the business in the Americas, solidifying subsidiaries in Brazil and Canada, and the newly opened subsidiary in Mexico. He also restructured and strengthened the Americas leadership team and leaves a legacy of growth and profitability, as well as a new Distribution Center in Byhalia, MI, and a state-of-the-art Asics campus in Irvine, CA, featuring a world-class sports performance center.
“Asics America Group has accomplished a lot over the past five years and we are very proud of the successful execution of our stated strategies and strong results,” said Wulff. “As I conclude my time as the head of our great team at Asics America Group, I would like to thank our Board of Directors, retailers, partners, and elite Asics athletes. Most importantly, I would like to thank our valued employees for making the last five years some of the most rewarding and enjoyable of my corporate career.”
Incoming Asics America Group President and CEO, Gene McCarthy, is a recognized leader in the sporting goods, footwear, and apparel industries with more than 30 years of experience in executive positions at world-leading brands, including Merrell, Under Armour, Reebok, Timberland, and Nike, where he spent 21 years in sales and marketing management positions, including Global Director of Sales and Retail Marketing for Brand Jordan.
“Asics is an amazing brand with so much loyalty and credibility among its global consumer base,” said McCarthy. “As a lifelong athlete with an immense respect for the brand, I am honored to have been selected to help take Asics America into its next phase of growth during such a dynamic time in our industry.”
Most recently, McCarthy served as president of Merrell, managing all aspects of its worldwide business, including creative direction for both footwear and apparel, sales, marketing, and retail. Previously, McCarthy was senior VP of footwear for Under Armour, where he oversaw the entire footwear organization, a major part of the company’s growth strategy. Prior to Under Armour, McCarthy was a senior executive at The Timberland Company, serving as co-president, where he led strategic development for the brand, consumer activation, product direction, and corporate social responsibility. At Timberland, he led a re-direction for online business development, and authored and launch the company’s first integrated Global Consumer Access Strategy, encompassing wholesale, owned retail, distributor and franchise divisions. McCarthy also served as senior VP for Reebok’s global footwear engine.