03 Aug Xero Shoes Appoints Former Crocs CEO as Chairman
Xero Shoes appointed former Crocs CEO, John McCarvel, as board chairman and lead investor. McCarvel steered Crocs from $645 million in 2009 to $1.2 billion in sales in 2013, and retired as president and CEO last April.
Xero Shoes manufactures and sells “lightweight performance recreation sandals” that people in 94 countries wear for everything from a hike along the Appalachian Trail to a yoga or Crossfit class to running an ultra marathon across Costa Rica, or even just a stroll on the beach.
Co-‐founders and husband-‐wife team Lena Phoenix and Steven Sashen presented Xero Shoes on Shark Tank in 2013, where they turned down a $400,000 offer from Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary.
“I first saw Xero on Shark Tank,” says McCarvel, “and could tell they were onto something.”
The former Crocs CEO adds, “I’ve followed the company since then and I’m joining Xero because of strong management, an attractive brand, and a unique product with proven sales that offers genuine benefits.”
Regarding management, Xero already had a Crocs connection. Xero Shoes’ Chief Product Officer, Dennis Driscoll, was originally brought to Colorado by McCarvel as Crocs’ Head of Global Design, then joined Xero almost 3 years ago.
“After many years as a footwear executive, I know when a product has real potential, and Xero Shoes has that,” says Driscoll.
McCarvel agrees. “The company’s new lightweight sport sandals are game changers.” He adds, “With this team’s high-‐level and comprehensive skill set, I know we can make a real difference.”
McCarvel will join the Xero team at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, where they expect to land some significant retail accounts, rounding out the company’s already successful web and specialty retail business. Xero Shoes was Biz West magazine’s fastest growing early-‐stage company (and 3rd fastest overall) last year.
Says Steven Sashen, “It’s been Lena’s and my goal to share the fun and benefits of Xero Shoes with as many people as possible. Having John on our team will accelerate that dramatically.”