21 May Nike veteran Robert Sasaki named LaCrosse Footwear President
Sasaki joined LaCrosse last December as an executive vice president. Until then, he had 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.
While LaCrosse declined to make Sasaki available for an interview, he says in the news release, “We recognize the unique opportunity for legendary American heritage brands Danner and LaCrosse to partner with Japan’s leading footwear retailer.”
The company also announced plans to open a “lifestyle concept store” in downtown Portland this fall for its Danner boot brand.
The store will be part of the Union Way building at 1022 W. Burnside St. and will house Danner’s Made in USA styles, focusing on its Stumptown lifestyle line.
The company will continue to operate the Danner Factory Store at 12021 N.E. Airport Way, which also houses a boot repair shop.
In addition, LaCrosse says in the news release it has added 80 employees to its Danner factory east of Portland International Airport since last year, following its sale to Tokyo-based footwear retailer ABC-MART Inc. The new jobs are “a direct result of the rising demand for the Danner brand,” a company spokeswoman said in an email.
LaCrosse also announced that Craig Cohen will be vice president of sales and marketing and Steve Belatti will be senior director of product. Both held executive management positions at LaCrosse.
The announcements were LaCrosse’s first public comments since the ABC-MART sale was completed.
In the sale announced last July, ABC-MART said it would pay $20 per share in cash, or approximately $138 million, for LaCrosse.
At the time, ABC-MART officials forecasted expanding LaCrosse’s and Danner’s market reach into Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the rest of Asia as well as Europe.