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In Surprise Move, Steve Rendle to Exit VF Corp. + Benno Dorer to Become Interim President and CEO

There has been a surprising leadership change at VF Corp.

The company announced via statement today that Benno Dorer, the lead independent director of the VF board of directors, has been named interim president and CEO, effective immediately.

Dorer has assumed control from Steve Rendle — a longtime VF veteran, who has been with the company since 2009 — after his decision to retire from his position as chairman, president and CEO.

“It has been an honor to lead VF as CEO over the last five years,” Rendle said in a statement. “I depart with the deepest gratitude for the extremely talented and dedicated global team at VF. I remain as confident as ever in VF’s tremendous potential and look forward to watching the company’s continued success.”

VF stated its search for a permanent CEO has began and it has retained a leading executive search firm “to support its evaluation of internal and external candidates.”

VF Corp. stated Richard Carucci, who has been a director on its board since 2009, will serve as interim chairman of the board.

“We are fortunate to have Benno lead VF while the board conducts a search for a permanent CEO. He knows VF extremely well and has an excellent track record of generating strong business results in a global consumer portfolio business,” Carucci said in a statement.

VF has iconic brands in attractive growth categories, deep relationships with consumers and customers, and significant competitive advantages as a portfolio company. I look forward to working closely with the board and VF’s executive leadership team to drive profitable growth across our portfolio while the Board identifies the right leader for the company’s next chapter,” Dorer said in a statement.

The move comes at a time when CEO shifts have become increasingly more common in the last year, specifically in the athletic category. Within the last six months, market leaders Under Armour, Foot Locker, Reebok, Adidas and Puma have all had shakeups at the top.

The string of leadership moves started in May when Under Armour announced president and CEO Patrik Frisk, who assumed control in January 2020, was stepping down. Its board appointed COO Colin Browne as interim president and CEO until a successor is named.

In August, Foot Locker Inc. announced CEO Dick Johnson would retire from his role, effective Sept. 1, and his successor would be former Ulta leader Mary Dillon.

One month later, Reebok would tap Todd Krinsky — a company veteran of more than 30 years — to fill its CEO role. Krinsky replaced longtime leader Matt O’Toole, who is slated to join Reebok owner Authentic Brands Group (ABG) in 2023 as its executive vice chairman.

Last month, Adidas announced it has tapped former Puma CEO Bjørn Gulden as its next leader. With the move, Puma named Arne Freundt, an 11-year company veteran, as his replacement.

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