Allison Gettings to Become the First Woman CEO of Red Wing Shoe Co.

Red Wing Shoe Co. is making history with its next CEO hire.

The Minnesota-based firm announced today that 14-year company veteran Allison Gettings, who currently serves as president, will assume the CEO role effective Jan. 1, 2023, following the planned retirement of current CEO Mark Urdahl. Gettings — the 10th CEO at Red Wing Shoe Co. — will become the first woman to lead the company, which was founded in 1905.

What’s more, Red Wing confirmed in a statement today that Gettings is the great-granddaughter of J.R. Sweasy, who was president and CEO from 1921-1949. Also, it noted that this hire marks the first fourth-generation family member to run the company.

“Allison is the right choice to lead Red Wing and build upon the important work that Mark has led to position the company for the future,” Red Wing chairman Bill Sweasy said in a statement. “She brings a deep understanding of the company’s business, customers and values, having worked across many different functions over more than a decade at the company. She’s widely respected for her strategic thinking and ability to bring people together, and I am confident that she’s prepared to guide Red Wing Shoe Co. as it enters its next chapter. I also want to thank Mark for his many contributions and leadership over the past 18 years, including the past seven as CEO/president during an unprecedented time amid the global pandemic.”

Gettings has held several positions at Red Wing and has been instrumental in the success of several areas of its business. For instance, the company said she spearheaded the launch of Red Wing’s Women’s Heritage product line, reimagined its outdoor business as president of the Vasque brand from 2018-2020. Most recently, during her time as president, Gettings established the company’s first dedicated corporate social responsibility department, which is focused on advancing its commitments to the environment and the community.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Red Wing Shoe Co. and excited about what the future holds,” Gettings said in a statement. “Over the past 117 years, we have garnered incredible customer ‘brand love’ across our portfolio of purpose-driven brands, and we have an awesome opportunity to build on that foundation. I am so grateful for the support and guidance Mark has provided me, and I look forward to working with the high-performing teams he has built as we accelerate our growth.”

Ahead of his retirement, Udahl reflected on his accomplishments in the CEO role, particularly in the midst of unprecedented challenges. “The last several years have been difficult for all companies, and yet we have flourished at Red Wing due in large part to our culture and people,” he said in the statement. “We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us, and I know that there are great things to come as we transition leadership to Allison.”

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