Clarks Americas Inc. has a new leader. Gary Champion, a 25-year veteran of the company, has rejoined as president, effective immediately. He replaces Geralyn Breig, who has left the company.
Before his departure in 2008, Champion rose to the position of SVP at Clarks, a subsidiary of C&J Clark Limited, Somerset, England, with responsibility for the wholesale business in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to rejoining Clarks, he was president of Earth Inc., where he’s served for six years.
“Gary is an industry veteran who has a deep history with Clarks and a clear understanding of the brand,” said Clarks Executive Chairman Tom O’Neill. “We are very excited that his leadership will guide the Americas Region to its next stage of growth.”
O’Neill added, “On behalf of our board and executive management team, I want to thank Geralyn for all that she helped the Americas Region to achieve during her tenure and wish her the very best. Gary Champion comes to us at a time of exceptional opportunity for Clarks. With his enormous amounts of energy and deep understanding for the footwear business, Clarks in the Americas will excel under his leadership.”
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The move comes on the heels of a restructuring of Clarks’ business as a result of a highly demanding commercial and economic environment, with increasing competition and stepped-up consumer expectations. The initiative will allow Clarks to focus on its global distribution channels, combining its product and marketing functions, and tapping the expertise of its product development teams in the U.K. and U.S. Approximately 170 employees are expected to leave the business across its global operations over the coming month.