Under New Ownership, Toms Shoes Taps New CEO

Toms Shoes has a new leader at the helm.

The charitable shoe brand has appointed Magnus Wedhammar as its new CEO. The exec formerly served three years as VP and GM at Sanuk until his departure from the label in December. Prior to that role, he was VP of product at Sperry and also worked at Converse for a decade.

“Magnus brings over 25 years of experience in the footwear, apparel and accessories industry both in the U.S. and European markets,” Toms told FN in a statement. “His leadership moving forward will help us position the company for sustained growth while fulfilling the Toms mission of using business to improve lives.”

Wedhammar’s appointment comes a month after Toms founder Blake Mycoskie and private equity firm Bain Capital announced that they would cede control of the company to a group of creditors as part of a debt restructuring exchange.

Credit rating agencies had warned that Toms would be unable to repay a $300 million loan due this year if it did not renegotiate with creditors. The group — led by Jeffries Financial Group, Nexus Capital Management and Brookfield Asset Management — intends to take ownership of the shoe brand to provide debt relief and agreed to invest $35 million in Toms to show support for the brand’s future growth.

“Combined with an enhanced capital structure, this funding will enable Toms to further invest in our promising growth areas and continue our commitment to giving, which have been initiated and supported by Bain Capital and Blake over the past five years,” then-Toms CEO Jim Alling wrote in a letter to employees in late December.

Bain acquired a 50% stake in Toms five years ago, when the company was valued at more than $600 million. Since then, the shoe line had been dogged by negative credit ratings and bankruptcy rumors.

“It’s been sobering. Our worst time was about two years ago. We weren’t in a great place with our lenders,” Mycoskie told FN in March. “But our business has been a lot healthier during the past five quarters. We’re not kicking ass, but we’re not on the verge of bankruptcy.” Toms had declined to reveal the company’s 2018 revenues, but a Moody’s report said net sales for the year ended Sept. 30 were roughly $336 million.

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