02 Jun Wolverine World Wide Names Company President, New Leaders For Merrell And Saucony
Wolverine World Wide, Inc. named Chris Hufnagel as company president, promoted Janice Tennant to Merrell’s global brand president and named Rob Griffiths as global brand president of Saucony.
Wolverine said the changes would “help drive future growth and accelerate its global brand-building efforts” and are “the next step in the evolution of the company, building on the strategic transformation work initiated last year.”
Hufnagel is responsible for leading and driving strategy across the company’s portfolio of footwear brands and leading its consumer marketing and insights teams. His 14-year career with WWW has included global brand president of CAT Footwear, global brand president of Merrell and, most recently, as president of WWW’s Active Group, responsible for Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, Kids Group, and Global Licensing.
In earlier roles at Wolverine Worldwide, Hufnagel was president of Direct-to-Consumer and corporate senior vice president and head of strategy. Before joining the company, he held senior leadership roles at Under Armour, Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch. As company president, Hufnagel will continue to report to Brendan Hoffman, Wolverine Worldwide’s chief executive officer.
“Our strategy for long-term growth includes building stronger brands that resonate more meaningfully with our consumers around the globe,” said Hoffman. “Chris’ diverse and broad experience as the leader of our largest global brands make him the best choice to lead the implementation of this strategy across our entire footwear brand portfolio as president and take a broader leadership role at the company.”
Tennant, who replaces Hufnagel as Merrell’s president, has worked as the brand’s chief marketing officer since 2020, having joined the company as chief marketing officer of CAT Footwear in 2018. She is the recipient of the Forbes “2023 Entrepreneurial CMOs 50” list. Before joining Merrell, Tennant held senior marketing and other roles with Kimberly-Clark and PepsiCo. She reports to Hufnagel.
The Griffiths appointment comes after Wolverine in mid-May announced that Anne Cavassa, who joined WWW as president of the Saucony brand in 2018, had left the company. Griffiths has worked at Wolverine Worldwide as managing director of EMEA since 2021, leading the company’s commercial operations in the region. Earlier, he was the vice president and general manager of Merrell in EMEA and vice president and general manager of Lifestyle Brands in EMEA. Before joining WWW in 2013, Griffith spent 15 years with Esprit and Umbro. He will report to Hufnagel.
“Merrell and Saucony are two of the brands we believe have the largest global growth potential within the portfolio, and we intend to focus our efforts and investments on these key brands,” said Hoffman. “I’m extremely excited to promote Janice and Rob, and I am confident these strong, experienced leaders will help drive our global strategy and position Wolverine Worldwide for long-term success.”
The company’s portfolio includes Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Sweaty Betty, Hush Puppies, Wolverine, Chaco, Bates, HYTEST, and Stride Rite. Wolverine Worldwide is also the global footwear licensee for Cat and Harley-Davidson.