EXCLUSIVE: Sperry, Keds Get New Execs

Wolverine World Wide Inc. is shuffling executives in its lifestyle group.

Rick Blackshaw moved from president of Keds to president of Sperry Top-Sider. Taking his place at Keds is Chris Lindner, former chief marketing officer and SVP of Sperry. Both appointments are effective immediately.

The moves follow Sperry President Craig Reingold’s departure from the boat-shoe brand he helped turn into the second-largest property for the Wolverine family. According to Reingold’s LinkedIn, he left earlier this month.

Blackshaw joined Keds from Converse in 2012.

“Rick Blackshaw is a dynamic, strategic leader with an unrivaled passion for brands and consumers,” said Blake W. Krueger, chairman, CEO and president of Wolverine, in a statement. “What Rick and the team have been able to do with the Keds brand is nothing short of remarkable, and the company is pleased to have such a proven and energized executive leading … Sperry Top-Sider.”

It hasn’t been long since Lindner was promoted to head of marketing and business development for Sperry, only starting those gigs in early 2014. Prior to Sperry, Lindner served as SVP of global sales and chief marketing officer of Saucony.

“Chris has demonstrated his talent and passion for fostering a brand’s ability to deliver significant and consistent performance. He possesses all the skills necessary to lead Keds into its next great chapter of growth,” said Andy Simister, president of the lifestyle division, in the above-mentioned release.

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