Matt Rubel, who has spent the last six years as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Collective Brands, who own, among others Payless, Sperry and Saucony, has resigned, effective June 15, per a news release posted on the Collective Brands website. Michael J. Massey has been named the interim CEO for Collective Brands.
There has been some recent pressure in the investment community and investment media on Mr. Rubel, noting the recent challenges of the Payless chain. This was during a time that two of his prized brands, Sperry (Topsider) and Saucony were growing very well!
The release was curiously supportive of Mr. Rubel, with a note from Mr. Rubel wishing nothing but the best and a statement from Robert C. Wheeler, Lead Director, praising Matt on his leadership and noting that they hope to build on his successes.
The time between the complaining by Investment media and the resignation, obviously pushed by the Collective Brands board, was quick. The bloodletting was small, but there must be come concern within CB employees as to what the next steps will be. Mr. Rubel was known for his gamesmanship, and desire to build the Collective Brands business, especially in sports and leisure.
We wish Mr. Rubel our best wishes. He has been a colorful and welcome addition to our sports business over the past four years!
Jun 15, 2011
TOPEKA, KS, Jun 15, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) —
Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) announced today that the
Board of Directors and Matthew Rubel agreed that Mr. Rubel would resign
as director, Chairman of the Board and an officer of the Company,
effective immediately. Michael J. Massey has been named the interim
Chief Executive Officer and D. Scott Olivet has been named the Company’s
Mr. Olivet, a member of the Collective Brands Board of Directors
since 2006, is a 27-year veteran of the apparel, sports and retailing
industry, having served as CEO of Oakley, Inc. and in senior positions
at Nike, Inc. and The Gap Inc., participating in the growth and
development of such iconic brands as Oakley, Converse, Cole Haan,
Hurley, Bauer, Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. Mr. Massey has served
in both corporate and operating roles during his 15 years at Collective
Brands, including directing all aspects of the Company’s successful
international expansion and operations. He continues to lead the
international growth and overall business development in addition to
serving as the Company’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and
The Compensation, Nominating and Governance Committee, chaired by
Mylle Mangum, has commenced a search for a permanent replacement for Mr.
Rubel as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Massey has informed the Board
that he does not wish to be a candidate for the position.
The Company has also added the Presidents and Chief Executive
Officers of its three business units to its governing Executive
Committee, effective immediately. LuAnn Via has been President and Chief
Executive Officer of Payless ShoeSource since 2008, with more than 35
years of retailing experience, including senior positions at Charming
Shoppes, Inc., Sears Roebuck and Co. and Saks Incorporated. Gregg S.
Ribatt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company’s
Performance + Lifestyle Group, has been in his position since 2008 and
brings extensive footwear experience from his tenure as President and
Chief Executive Officer of Stuart Weitzman Holdings and 13 years at
Bennett Footwear. Bruce T. Pettet has led the Collective Licensing
business since its formation in 2003 and has 20 years of experience in
the sporting and footwear industries, including serving as President and
Chief Executive Officer of Brooks Sports.
Other members of the governing Executive Committee are Betty J.
Click, Senior Vice President, Human Resources; Darrel J. Pavelka,
Executive Vice President, Supply Chain; and Douglas J. Treff, Executive
Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. The Committee will
report to Mr. Massey and Mr. Olivet.
“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Matt for his efforts over
his six years at the helm of Collective Brands, and the strong and
positive role he played in building our businesses,” said Robert C.
Wheeler, the Company’s Lead Director. “We look forward to building on
that foundation and to a new Chief Executive Officer leading the Company
toward the growth we see in our future.”
“I am proud of our accomplishments at Collective Brands,” said Mr.
Rubel. “We have built a talented management team, improved our brand
presence at Payless, expanded the Company globally and diversified into
new consumer segments and channels with great brands like Sperry
Top-Sider, Saucony, Keds and Stride Rite. I wish the Company and its
employees all the best as I pursue a new chapter in my career.” Mr.
Rubel will remain available to assist the Board, as needed.
Mr. Olivet said, “With strong and experienced executives running each
of our three operating businesses, excellent functional management and
Michael’s leadership, we have full confidence that we can improve our
business performance. Our number one priority is to accelerate traffic
and sales at Payless’ U.S. operations by renewing our commitment to our
core customer. Our historic positioning as the destination for
fashionable footwear and accessories at unbeatable prices is
particularly relevant in these tough economic times, and we will be more
aggressive with this message to our current loyal customers as well as
those consumers who have not shopped with us recently. We will also
focus on maintaining the strong momentum of our Performance + Lifestyle
Group, our Collective Licensing business, the Payless international
business and our growing digital commerce business.”
Mr. Massey said, “As I assume the role of interim CEO, one of my key
initiatives is to provide LuAnn the resources and focus necessary to
significantly advance our progress at Payless. With 480 million customer
visits to our 4,400 stores in 2010, we know we have a uniquely powerful
connection with our consumer and it is our intent to leverage that
relationship to drive sales and profit growth. By rededicating ourselves
to price and value leadership, introducing exciting new customer
loyalty programs and improving our advertising spend and message to be
more relevant and accessible, we are confident we can win back our core
customer and drive improvements in traffic and sales. Many of our plans
are already being implemented and we will be introducing new
merchandising programs in the future. We will also continue to grow the
great brands in our Performance + Lifestyle Group at an aggressive pace
by expanding the channels of distribution and product lines within our
“I am especially grateful that I can rely upon Scott and other
members of the Board during this interim period. This will enable our
team to devote our full efforts to generating increased revenues and
profits,” continued Mr. Massey.
Mr. Massey joined the Company in 1996 from The May Department Stores
Company, where he served as counsel from 1990 to 1996. He joined Payless
ShoeSource, the predecessor company of Collective Brands, when it was
spun off from The May Company, serving as the Company’s Senior Counsel
in 1996 and its Vice President and Group Counsel for Intellectual
Property in 1998. He was promoted to Vice President of Contract
Manufacturing and International Development in 2000, and since 2001, he
has had various responsibilities including being responsible for the
Company’s international operations, leading its successful international
expansion and overseeing the performance of these operations. He has
served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since
2003. He is a graduate of Indiana University and Washington University
School of Law.
Over his 27-year career, Mr. Olivet has amassed significant
experience in retail, merchandising, marketing, finance, strategy,
management and technology. He is Chief Executive Officer of Renegade
Brands, LLC, and serves as Executive Chairman of RED Digital Cinema. Mr.
Olivet served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Oakley, Inc.
(formerly NYSE: OO) from 2005 to 2009 and as Chairman of the Board from
2009 to 2011. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Olivet served as Vice President,
Nike Subsidiaries and New Business Development, responsible for
Converse, Hurley, Cole Haan, Bauer Nike Hockey, and Starter brands. From
1998 to 2001, he served as Senior Vice President of Real Estate, Store
Design, and Construction with Gap Inc. From 1984 to 1998, Mr. Olivet was
with Bain & Company, serving as Partner and leader of the Worldwide
Organizational and Change Management Practice from 1993 to 1998. He has
served as a Director of Collective Brands, Inc., since 2006; a Director
of RED Digital Cinema since 2006; a Trustee of Pomona College since
2009 and Vice-Chair of the Audit Committee since 2011; a Director of
Pacific Council on International Policy since 2010; and a Director of
Skullcandy, Inc. since June 2011. He is a graduate of Pomona College and
the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
About Collective Brands and Forward-Looking Statements Collective
Brands, Inc. is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and
performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers
worldwide. Collective Brands, Inc. is the holding company for Payless
ShoeSource, Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, and
Collective Licensing International. Payless ShoeSource is the largest
specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere. It is
dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and
accessories and inspiring fun, fashion possibilities for the family at a
great value. The Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group
markets lifestyle and performance branded footwear for children and
adults sold primarily through wholesale and retail under well-known
brand names including Stride Rite, Saucony, Sperry Top-Sider, Keds, and
Robeez. Collective Licensing International is a leading youth lifestyle
marketing and global licensing business. Information about, and links
for shopping at, each of Collective Brands’ units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.