04 Mar Varsity Scoops Former Collective Brands CEO
Varsity Brands, a portfolio of brands that promoting student experience and participation while celebrating athletic and academic achievement, appointed Matthew E. Rubel as CEO. Founder Jeff Webb will remain active in the business as Chairman of the Board.
“I am pleased that we have recruited such an accomplished executive as Matt Rubel as CEO and look forward to working closely with him in this next chapter of growth for Varsity Brands,” said Webb.
“This role offers the opportunity to leverage my experience in a dynamic environment where we bring a unique level of engagement to those involved in extra-curricular and community activities,” Rubel said. “I look forward to helping Varsity build on its culture of excellence and key competitive strengths, and to partnering with Jeff and the talented management team at Varsity Brands to further our goals of building a great, engaged community celebrating student achievement.”
Rubel is an accomplished retail executive, most recently serving as a senior advisor to leading private equity firms, including TPG Capital and also on the Boards of The Hudson Bay Company, HSNi and Supervalu. He has over 30 years of successful leadership experience in the consumer and multi-channel retail industry, including as chairman/CEO of Collective Brands, the global parent company of Payless Shoes, Saucony, Sperry Topsider, Keds and Stride Rite, and Chairman/CEO of Cole Haan during its period of growth into a global multi-channel luxury lifestyle business. Previously, Rubel has held senior leadership roles at Tommy Hilfiger, Revlon and J. Crew.
“Under Jeff Webb’s leadership, Varsity Brands has been transformed into a multi-divisional organization that is poised for tremendous growth,” said Brandon White, a managing director at Charlesbank Capital Partners. “With Matt as CEO teamed with Jeff as Chairman, we believe we have an unbeatable combination to unlock Varsity’s long-term potential.”
Varsity Brands is a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group.