One of the points of discussion among many in management in the footwear business has been, Who would replace Richard Bourne? Rich, the CEO of ASICS America, has guided the number one ranked performance running shoe brand in the world for nineteen years. He guided it before it was the number one running performance brand (Just for info, per specialty data, Running Footwear sales is north of $7.5 billion, performance running is the top $1.6 billion, and food chain is ASICS, Brooks, Saucony, Nike, Mizuno, New Balance, adidas..). During his tenure, Bourne has helped develop a great team, from marketing and communications to footwear design, to sales, the ASICS team is solid.
The answer to that question just arrived: ASICS has picked Kevin Wulff to move into the position Rich Bourne has held for nineteen years. Those will be big shoes to fill.
Rich Bourne is a thoughtful man with a keen business eye and a quiet sense of humor. What I like most about Rich is that he leads by example. For the past dozen years or so, I would most often find Rich working in the ING New York or B of A Chicago booths, asking runners what they liked about ASICS shoes and making sure that they got the right size and fit.
Someone once told me that a great manager hires people to do the jobs he or she can’t do, and encourage them to do the job better than the manager could ever do. Human capital is key to success in this business. Richard Bourne understands that. In sales (JIm Hoff), marketing (Gary Slayton), communications (Shannon Scott), footwear (Jim Monahan), and apparel (Dave Chandler), among other key people, Bourne has developed a culture that encourages his team to excel. The past nine years, while having challenges, have shown ASICS as a consistent player in the challenging footwear business.
We welcome Kevin Wulff back into the footwear business, and at the same time, thank Rich Bourne for what he has done for ASICS in particular and the industry in general. Leadership changes are crucial in this industry, and as ASICS continues to grow its business, it will become all that more important.
ASICS AMERICA ANNOUNCES NEW COO
IRVINE, Calif. (August 10, 2010) – ASICS America Corporation, the athletic
products manufacturer, announces the appointment of Kevin Wulff as Chief
Operating Officer effective immediately.
Wulff will join ASICS America Corporation as COO and will add President to
his title beginning on February 1, 2011 when current COO and President Rich
Bourne will transition into retirement.
Wulff’s previous experience includes President and CEO of San Diego-based
Pony International (2007-2010), President and CEO of American Sporting Goods
(2004-2007), CEO and Chairman of the Women’s Tennis Association (2001-2003).
He has also spent over 10 years at Nike Inc. at the world headquarters in
Beaverton, OR and at Nike Canada in Toronto holding various management
positions and 17 years at Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, WI.
“I am excited to take on this great opportunity. With my past experiences
of working in both the North and South American regions, I look forward to
building upon the current ASICS momentum and to achieve the company’s
ambitious brand and business goals for the future,” states Wulff.
Bourne will stay on as acting President until his 21st anniversary date on
February 1, 2011. “After 21 wonderful years with ASICS, I’m retiring to
travel and spend more time with my family. But I’ll remain on hand as a
consultant for ASICS,” says Bourne. “I feel very confident in bringing Kevin
Wulff on board as my successor. His experience, skill set and ability to
handle business on a global level will no doubt help ASICS reach our billion
ASICS Corporation, with more than 60 years of footwear manufacturing
experience, offers a full line of performance-driven athletic shoes and
technical active sports apparel and accessories. For more information,
please visit www.asics.com.
The stripe design featured on the sides of ASICSÂ® shoes is a trademark of
ASICS Corporation and is a registered trademark in most countries of the
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