Kevin Wulff, president and CEO of Asics America Group, will retire from the company he led, since August 2010, and shoe-industry veteran Gene McCarthy will take over as CEO, effective Oct. 1.
Wulff, who will depart at the end of the year, helped take the firm’s largest region — which comprises the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil —from $680 million annual sales to over $1 billion in 2014, Asics said.
“Kevin has been a tremendous leader, driving significant growth for the company and helping to position Asics as a true multi-sport performance brand. Asics America is very well-positioned for continued success, thanks in large part to Kevin’s efforts over the last five years,” said Motoi Oyama, CEO of Asics Corp., in a release. “We are also thrilled to welcome industry veteran Gene McCarthy to the Asics family, and believe he is the perfect person to help drive our business and brand forward, given his impressive track record and vision in the industry.”
McCarthy’s 30-year history in the footwear-and-apparel industry includes his most recent role as president of Wolverine World Wide Inc.’s Merrell brand as well as executive posts at Under Armour, Reebok, Merrell, Timberland and Nike.
“Asics is an amazing brand with so much loyalty and credibility among its global consumer base,” McCarthy said in a statement. “As a lifelong athlete with an immense respect for the brand, I am honored to have been selected to help take Asics America into its next phase of growth during such a dynamic time in our industry.”
The departing Asics CEO’s other achievements at the firm include the launching of its direct-to-consumer business, accelerated expansion in America and the company’s newly-opened subsidiary in Mexico, Asics said.
“Asic America Group has accomplished a lot over the past five years and we are very proud of the successful execution of our stated strategies and strong results,” Wulff said in a release. “As I conclude my time as the head of our great team at Asics America Group, I would like to thank our board of directors, retailers, partners and our elite Asics athletes. Most importantly, I would like to thank our valued employees for making the last five years some of the most rewarding and enjoyable of my corporate career.”