07 Dec Steve Rendle Retires As VF Corp.’s CEO
VF Corp. reported Chairman, President and CEO Steve Rendle has retired and that Benno Dorer, a lead independent director of VF’s Board, was named interim president and CEO, effective immediately. VF also again lowered its revenue and earnings expectations for the second half of its fiscal year.
“It has been an honor to lead VF as CEO over the last five years,” said Rendle. “I depart with the deepest gratitude for the extremely talented and dedicated global team at VF. I remain as confident as ever in VF’s tremendous potential and look forward to watching the company’s continued success.”
VF Corp. has hired an executive search firm to support its evaluation of internal and external candidates to assume Rendle’s position.
In other personnel moves, Richard Carucci, a director on the company’s Board since 2009, assumed the role of Board interim chairman, effective immediately.
Rendle has been CEO since October 2016 and has worked for VF for the past 23 years. Before becoming CEO, he was president and COO, overseeing VF’s Outdoor & Action Sports, Jeanswear, Imagewear, and Sportswear divisions. He was also responsible for VF’s global supply chain and DTC platforms. Past roles also included vice president of VF Corp.; group president, Outdoor & Action Sports Americas and president, VF Outdoor Americas.
“The Board thanks Steve for his many contributions and leadership during his nearly six years as CEO and nearly 25 years with VF,” said Dorer. “Steve’s commitment to the business, passion for building strong brands and focus on culture have helped VF evolve our portfolio of strong, active lifestyle brands and establish VF as a purpose-led company. We wish Steve well in his future endeavors.
“VF has iconic brands in attractive growth categories, deep relationships with consumers and customers and significant competitive advantages as a portfolio company. I look forward to working closely with the Board and VF’s executive leadership team to drive profitable growth across our portfolio while the Board identifies the right leader for the company’s next chapter, ” concluded Dorer.
Dorer was appointed to VF’s Board in 2017 and has been the company’s lead independent director since 2021. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Origin Materials, Inc. He served as executive chair on the Board of The Clorox Company from September 2020 to February 2021, CEO of Clorox from November 2014 to September 2020 and as Clorox’s Board chair from August 2016 to September 2020.
Before becoming CEO, Dorer was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Clorox from January 2013 to November 2014 and held various senior vice president and general manager roles before that. Prior to joining Clorox in 2005, Dorer worked for The Procter & Gamble Company in marketing and sales roles in the U.S. and Europe since 1990.
Carucci said, “We are fortunate to have Benno lead VF while the Board conducts a search for a permanent CEO. He knows VF extremely well and has an excellent track record of generating strong business results in a global consumer portfolio business.”
VF revised its FY23 outlook largely to reflect the impact of weaker-than-anticipated consumer demand across its categories, primarily in North America, which resulted in a more elevated-than-expected promotional environment and order cancellations in the wholesale channel to manage trade inventories. Also impacting the outlook, but to a lesser degree, are the higher-than-expected impacts from inflation on consumer discretionary spending in Europe and ongoing COVID-19-related disruption in China.
VF now expects total revenue growth in the second half of FY23 to be modestly lower than previously outlined, with revenue for the full year expected to increase by 3 percent to 4 percent in constant dollars, excluding the impact of translating foreign currencies into U.S. dollars, compared to the previous guidance of up 5 percent to 6 percent in constant dollars. The promotional environment, primarily in North America, and SG&A deleverage from lower volumes are expected to impact profitability in the near term.
Adjusted diluted EPS for the full year is now expected to be $2.00 to $2.20, versus $3.18 in the prior year and compared to the previous outlook of $2.40 to $2.50. Adjusted amounts exclude transaction and deal-related activities, costs related to specified strategic business decisions, noncash impairment charges, and a pension settlement charge.
VF said it remains committed to its FY27 long-term targets and capital allocation priorities as outlined during its recent Investor Day on September 28 and has focused on executing against its strategy to drive long-term shareholder value and improving near-term performance.
This is the third time VF Corp. slashed its guidance in under two months. On October 27, while reporting second-quarter results, VF reduced its EPS guidance to $2.40 to $2.50, down from a previous outlook of $2.60 to $2.70. During its Investor Day meeting in September, VF reduced its EPS outlook to $2.60 to $2.70, down from $3.05 to $3.15.
VF’s brands include Vans, The North Face, Timberland, and Dickies. It also owns Altra, Smartwool, Icebreaker, Jansport, Eastpak and Kipling.