As VF Looks to Refuel Heat at Vans, Kevin Bailey Is Back at the Helm

Vans has a new global brand president — and it’s someone who is a familiar face.

VF Corp. announced late Thursday that Kevin Bailey will assume the global brand president. The company said he will report to VF chairman, president and CEO Steve Rendle, and will serve on the firm’s executive leadership team.

Bailey will succeed Doug Palladini, who has been the global brand president of Vans since 2016.

Bailey has a lengthy history with Vans. When the heritage skate brand was acquired by VF in 2004, he was the VP of retail. From there, Bailey was appointed to the role of president, a position he would hold from 2009 to 2016. VF said under his leadership, Vans revenue more than doubled to $2.2 billion. (He also was with Vans pre-acquisition, starting his time with the brand in 2002.)

The exec has held several leadership posts during his 17-year career at VF, most recently serving as the company’s president of Asia-Pacific Region and Emerging Brands. He was responsible for its Asia-Pacific regional platform in the role, as well as the company’s Emerging Brands platform, with responsibility for Altra, JanSport and Smartwool. Before his most recent role, Bailey was the president of VF’s Action Sports Coalition, as well as its Canada, Mexico and Central/South America businesses.

“Kevin brings a deep level of knowledge and understanding of the Vans brand, its consumer and the global business to this role,” Rendle said in a statement. “He will work closely with the Vans leadership team and our enterprise functions as we focus on re-energizing the brand’s global growth.”

VF Corp. reported its fiscal Q3 earnings in late January, and revealed revenue growth of 22% to $3.6 billion. Specifically for Vans, VF reported the brand experienced an 8% revenue increase. During the earnings call, Rendle said this increase represented “modest growth relative to pre-pandemic levels.”

Despite the admitted lukewarm performance, Rendle said Vans is focused on the three drivers: China, a market Bailey focused on in his previous role, classics footwear and brand heat.

The exec also offered an encouraging outlook: “Vans has a long history of success with a rich heritage and strong brand equity. I’m confident there is a long runway ahead for future growth.”

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