Johnston & Murphy CEO Jon Caplan Announces Retirement

After roughly 36 years in the footwear business, executive Jon Caplan is ready for the next stage in his career: retirement.

The CEO of Johnston & Murphy has announced that he will step down from leadership at the brand, effective the end of June. Succeeding him is Danny Ewoldsen, who was named president of Johnston & Murphy in January 2018.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the remarkable growth and success of Johnston & Murphy,” said Caplan in a statement from the company. “I have long admired the company’s dedication to the highest standard of craftsmanship and have the utmost confidence in Danny and the rest of the leadership team’s ability to carry Johnston & Murphy’s legacy into the future.”

Caplan has spent the past 16 years steering the historic men’s label, and also leading the Branded Group for parent company Genesco Inc. Under his tenure, the 168-year-old Johnston & Murphy brand has worked to maintain its status as a trusted American shoe source, while also broadening its appeal with targeted initiatives aimed at women and younger male customers. Of late, the label has been a bright point in the Genesco portfolio, delivering consistent comp-store sales gains.

Caplan’s career first began at Genesco in 1982, leading to several roles in the organization. He then left for a 10-year stint, which he spent mainly overseeing the Stride Rite and Keds brands, and returned in 2002 to head up Johnston & Murphy.

In a statement, Caplan’s successor praised his long and successful leadership. “Jon’s strategic vision, industry expertise and personal warmth made him an effective and unique leader,” said Ewoldsen. “He led with humility and never missed the opportunity to teach or offer support at all levels of our organization. We thank him for all he has done for our team and for establishing J&M as a viable and growing business.”

Ewoldsen is also a 16-year veteran of Johnston & Murphy and previously served as EVP of retail and e-commerce.

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