07 Jan The Finish Line’s Sato to Succeed Lyon in CEO Post
The Finish Line board of directors has appointed Sam Sato to succeed Glenn Lyon as chief executive officer of the company effective Feb. 28.
Lyon, who currently serves as CEO and chairman of the board, will serve as executive chairman of the board through the end of calendar year 2016. At the beginning of 2017, Lyon will transition to the role of non-executive chairman of the board.
“During the past few years, our board and management team have worked diligently together to prepare for this change in leadership,” said Lyon. “Our goal has been to ensure a seamless transition and I am honored to announce Sam’s elevated role.”
Lyon continued, “Working with Sam for more than seven years here at Finish Line, I have seen him dramatically impact our premium brand position in the athletic retail world and, importantly, build strong bridges with our brand partners. With his tremendous strength in crucial customer-facing facets, Sam has earned a highly respected reputation across our business, internally and externally, as well as with our real estate, information technology and brand partners. I am confident Sam will lead Finish Line boldly into the future as he truly understands the importance of serving the customer in an omnichannel world.”
Sato started his executive retail career at Nordstrom in 1985 prior to joining Finish Line in March 2007 as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. He was named president and chief merchandising officer in August 2010 and became president of the Finish Line Brand in October 2012. Most recently, in October 2014 Sato was named president of The Finish Line, Inc. and was elected to the company’s board. As CEO, he will report to the board.
“I greatly appreciate and value Glenn’s trusted mentorship,” said Sato. “I look forward to continue working closely with the board and our senior management team in my new role as we execute against Finish Line’s short- and long-term goals and strategic, customer-centric mission.”
Bill Carmichael, lead director of The Finish Line, Inc. board added, “Today we realize a milestone in our multi-year succession planning and appreciate Glenn’s continued leadership through this transition. Since Glenn assumed the role of chief executive officer in 2008, Finish Line has developed into a multi-divisional high growth retail business. His strong business acumen created a vision through the lens of the customer-facing omnichannel world for Finish Line that included growth opportunities like Macy’s and our running specialty business, JackRabbit. Glenn’s dedicated and passionate leadership further expanded the breadth and depth of our customer outreach in the premium athletic retail marketplace.”