LaCrosse Footwear president Robert Sasaki leaves company

LaCrosse Footwear president Robert Sasaki leaves company

Robert Sasaki, appointed president of LaCrosse Footwear, Inc., in May, has left “for personal reasons,” the company acknowledged Wednesday.

LaCrosse owner ABC-Mart, Inc., named Sasaki president after the former Nike employee had served as an executive vice president since last December.

Tokyo-based ABC-Mart purchased LaCrosse last year, taking the publicly traded company private. LaCrosse of Portland includes subsidiary Danner, Inc., which keeps a boot-building factory east of Portland International Airport.

Before joining LaCrosse, Sasaki worked at Nike from April 2003 in a variety of finance positions, starting as a senior finance manager in the company’s Asia Pacific headquarters. He holds a finance degree from the University of Oregon and an international MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“We’re very thankful for his time here and his critical role in bridging the transition in ownership,” LaCrosse spokeswoman Laurie Shaw said. “Under his leadership we have grown a healthy business and are grateful for his many contributions.”

Sasaki could not be reached.

Yasushi Akaogi  “will be assuming the role of president, in addition to serving as chairman of the board for LaCrosse,” Shaw said. “One of the first employees with ABC-Mart, Akaogi has grown from within the company to be a key leader with significant footwear experience, working with global brands such as Nike and Vans over the past 20 years.”

Shaw said that other than Sasaki’s exit, “the executive management team is intact.”

Shaw said LaCrosse still plans to open a Danner brand “lifestyle concept store” in August in the Union Way building at 1022 W. Burnside St. It will house Danner’s Made in USA styles, focusing on its Stumptown lifestyle line.

When LaCrosse announced Sasaki’s appointment in May, the company said it had added 80 employees to its Danner factory since last year. On Wednesday, however, Shaw declined to discuss employment levels.

ABC-Mart purchased LaCrosse last July, paying $20 per share, or approximately $138 million, for LaCrosse.

— Allan Brettman