Shoe Carnival CEO Cliff Sifford to Step Down, Successor Appointed

Shoe Carnival Inc. has named a new chief executive.

The footwear retailer announced today that its board of directors has elected president and chief customer officer Mark Worden as its new CEO, effective Sept. 30. He will also retain his title as president.

Worden was tapped as EVP and chief strategy and marketing officer in 2018 then promoted the following year to his current position. He is responsible for overseeing the chain’s stores and online businesses, as well as its marketing, CRM, real estate and HR departments.

“When Mark joined Shoe Carnival nearly three years ago, our objective was to bring onboard an executive officer who would be positioned to take over as CEO at the right time,” explained current CEO Cliff Sifford. “I have the greatest confidence in his ability to lead the company as we embark on this new chapter.”

With the appointment, Sifford will step down from his post but continue to serve in the role of vice chairman of the company’s board. Sifford began his career with Shoe Carnival back in 1997 and has served in the top post as chief executive since 2012.

“Cliff has been an extraordinary leader in the shoe industry for over four decades and at Shoe Carnival for the past 24 years. We cannot express our gratitude and admiration enough,” chairman of the board J. Wayne Weaver said in a statement. “His deep knowledge of the industry and passion for the company elevated Shoe Carnival to its position as a leader in family footwear, and we are grateful for his continued guidance as vice chairman.”

Under Sifford’s leadership, Shoe Carnival has grown revenues to more than $1 billion and achieved 11 straight years of comparable store sales growth leading into the 2020 fiscal year. He also oversaw the launch of the business’ e-commerce platform.

“[Sifford] has been a great partner to me since I joined the company in 2018, and I am thrilled to continue our relationship as we transition to new responsibilities,” Worden added. “I believe our organization is set up very well to drive long-term shareholder value and gain market share as we execute our strategic growth plans.”

Today, Shoe Carnival also announced that its board has increased the quarterly cash dividend from 9 cents per share to 14 cents per share. This will be paid to shareholders on April 19.

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