New President and CEO at Crocs; Company Narrows Loss

Crocs Inc. has appointed its second president and CEO in the span of a year.

The Niwot, Colo.-based firm said Thursday at the close of the markets that it has promoted company veteran John McCarvel to the positions, effective March 1. Current president and CEO, John Duerden, will retire from the footwear brand. McCarvel has been COO and EVP at Crocs since 2007; he also held prior roles as SVP for global operations and VP for Asia. McCarvel began as a consultant to Crocs in 2004. Duerden was appointed president and CEO on March 16 last year.

“In 2009, we made significant progress in strengthening both our financial position and our market position,” said Richard Sharp, Crocs chairman, in a statement. “John Duerden has led this remarkable turnaround. With his leadership, we have taken steps to strengthen our product line, re-engage the consumer and reposition our iconic global brand. We also have improved our capital structure and liquidity significantly, repaid all of our debt and entered into a three-year asset-backed securitization agreement.”

Sharp added that the firm is planning the next phase of its turnaround. “John McCarvel is well-positioned to lead this next phase because he has played a key leadership role in developing and implementing the company’s strategic and operational plans,” he said.

Separately Thursday, Crocs reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss on an increase in sales. The firm said it had a loss of $11.5 million, or 13 cents a share, including certain charges, versus a loss of $34.7 million, or 42 cents, the prior year. Revenues rose to $136 million from $126.1 million last year.

In the full year, the firm improved its net loss to $42.1 million, or 49 cents, compared with a loss of $185.1 million, or $2.24, a year ago. Revenues declined 11 percent to $645.8 million.

“The past year was marked by significant operational changes that helped stabilize our business and reshaped the outlook for our company,” Duerden said in a statement. “In the near term, our focus remains on reinvigorating the top line, controlling costs and introducing fun and innovative footwear. In 2010, we will re-engage the consumer through more targeted and effective advertising programs and through further development of our direct and indirect distribution channels.”

Crocs said it expects revenues of $155 million to $160 million in the first quarter with break-even earnings.

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