Tunney, a 12-year veteran of the Pickerington, Ohio-based company best known for its Dearfoams slipper collection, will continue to work with its board of directors in the role of senior adviser. In December, Tunney will also assume the post of chairman of the Two Ten Footwear Foundation.
And Tunney isn’t stepping away the day-to-day activities of the shoe business. After taking a break to spend time with family, he will take on a new role at a footwear and accessories firm. For right now he has declined to name the company.
“New challenges and opportunities are what gets my juices going,” he said. “I think I did everything to grow our business at RG Barry, and the time had come for me to move on and take on some new opportunities.”
During Tunney’s tenure at RG Barry, the firm transitioned from being a public company to a private one and acquired the Baggallini bag line and the Footpetals footwear accessories brand. According to Tunney, during the past 12 years, the company has achieved more combined profits than it had been able to achieve in the prior 58 years in total. The company expects to post 2017 sales of $200 million.
In a recent interview with Footwear News, Tunney said the hardest part of his job was recruiting the right people for his team. “Finding and developing good talent for a micro-cap company [means] competing with big companies. It is very challenging.”
An industry veteran, Tunney also reflected on the dramatic changes that have transformed the retail business in recent years. “The convergence of the e-commerce wars, the collapse of the mid-tier channel and the drive of discount [stores] have made this business not for the faint of heart. However, these [changes] drive the business and make it exciting.”