Diane Sullivan Hires New CFO For Brown Shoe

Brown Shoe announced a new moneyman this morning.

The St. Louis-based company said it would install Kenneth Hannah as CFO and senior vice president, effective Feb. 16.

Hannah comes in after Russ Hammer, who joined in June 2012, resigned. Hammer previously had replaced Mark Hood.

Analysts viewed the new hire as a good move for the firm. “The appointment of Ken Hannah [as the new CFO] sets up Brown Shoe for its next phase of profitability growth,” Sterne Agee analyst Sam Poser wrote in a note.

“While Russ Hammer did a good job, he did not have the strong retail background needed to take the company to the next level. We are confident that Brown Shoe is well positioned for margin and earnings per share growth,” he added.

“Brown Shoe is executing properly on all fronts,” wrote Poser. “The inflection in the wholesale business continues, which is the main catalyst in achieving increased margins.”

Hannah comes to the company with a strong financial background. He was previously CFO of J.C. Penney Co., and held other executive roles at solar-energy firms and Home Depot.

Brown Shoe CEO, President and Chairman Diane Sullivan said in a statement that she was “excited” for Hannah to step into his new role.

“We’re excited to have a dynamic leader like Ken Hannah join us as CFO,” she said. “His strong finance background and executive experience — combined with his deep understanding of retail — will help Brown Shoe as we drive toward achieving our long-term financial targets.”

Hannah will be tasked with steering the company’s finance, accounting, treasury, external reporting, tax, real estate and investor relations functions.

In early-morning trading, Brown Shoe was down 38 cents, at $29.05 per share.

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