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Allbirds’ Co-Founder Tim Brown and Kate Ridley Talk Internal Shifts & the Brand’s Future

Allbirds is shaking things up as it marks one year as a public company — starting with some key executive moves.

In addition to being co-CEO, Tim Brown is taking on a new role leading the Allbirds Futures Team. And on a day-to-day basis, Kate Ridley, who joined last year, will take on a joint role as Chief Brand and Product Officer.

Ridley joined Allbirds with over 20 years of experience at Adidas and was hired with this role in mind.

“I had a fantastic on-boarding and I’ve spent a lot of time focused on refining the brand positioning in line with the values that were firmly in place. And now it feels like a great time to extend that across to product,” Ridley told FN. “Something that we’ve been talking a lot about is how to build a world class creative culture. And I think doing that across product and brand will be an exciting next step.”

Kate Ridley, Allbirds
Kate Ridley, Allbirds Chief Brand and Product Officer
CREDIT: Courtesy of Allbirds

For Brown, this shift means more time spent on focusing on Allbirds’ long-term growth and sustainability.

“Our Futures team work is where I have a particularly deep connection and where I believe we’re doing critical work to take our purpose and our sustainability vision to the next level of creating a suite of zero-carbon products,” added Brown. “Navigating and defining and refining the strategies for us at a moment in time where our purpose has never felt more important — and never more clearly understood by the category and the consumer — will continue to be a huge part of my day job.”

In Q3, the San Francisco-based footwear brand reported that net revenue increased 16% to $72.7 million over the same time last year, and increased 54% compared to 2020. Also in Q3, the company saw a net loss of $25.2 million compared to $13.8 million in the third quarter of 2021, and net loss margin was 35.0% compared to 22.0% in the third quarter of 2021.

Now a public company, Brown said there’s been a change and new level of scrutiny the brand has to face, but its values have not altered.

“The pressure of having a scorecard hanging over us every day inherently brings a shift, a challenge to the culture. And some of it has been really positive, some of it has been a new challenge for an organization that’s still very young,” he said. “We’re seven years into a journey to build 100-year-old brand. This is very, very early days. We’ve got to make extraordinary products and experiences. Kate represents a big piece of of that journey forward.”

Allbirds, Tim Brown
Tim Brown is leading the Allbirds Futures Team in addition to being co-CEO.
CREDIT: Peter Prato

For Ridley, her responsibility and key goal, she said, is to streamline Allbirds’ storytelling and its impact on the consumer when it comes to sustainability.

“My focus will be sharply on the consumer experience at every single touch point and making sure that product, and now brand storytelling, as well as our customer experience, are really tied very tightly together,” she explained. “What Allbirds has done on creating industry-leading sustainable, natural material footwear is unparalleled in the industry. And I don’t think we’ve told that story, clearly enough or loudly enough.”

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