Crocs names Andrew Rees as president of Crocs brand as search for CEO continues
Footwear brand Crocs has appointed former Reebok and Laura Ashley senior executive Andrew Rees as the new president of the Crocs brand.
Due to join Crocs on 9 June, Rees will also assume the role of principal executive officer until the company's search for a permanent chief executive is concluded.
Rees will join Crocs from management consulting firm LEK Consulting which he founded 14 years ago. Prior to that, he held senior leadership positions at Reebok International and was also director of stores at Laura Ashley.
"Andrew Rees is a proven leader in consumer products branding, marketing and retailing, with a long track record of business success," said Thomas Smach, Crocs chairman of the board and interim chief executive. "Andrew has led the LEK team that has been working closely with us to help develop our strategic plan and we feel that he is best positioned to lead the Crocs' management team in executing that plan. Andrew will bring a strong focus and cohesive leadership to building our brand and driving profitable growth for Crocs across the globe.”
Rees said: "Crocs is a powerful, exciting global footwear brand with highly differentiated products and tremendous upside potential. I look forward to working with the Crocs executive team, employees, distributors and our wholesale partners to accelerate the profitable growth of the Crocs brand and business around the world, as guided by an appropriate strategic plan."
Smach added that 2014 will be a significant transition period for the company which started the year by closing a $200 million investment by private equity firm Blackstone as part of plans to focus on more profitable top-line growth.
On joining the company, Rees will focus on improving financial performance, particularly in the Americas and Japan, as well as enhancing the company’s global retail execution. Smach added: "We increasingly focus on profitable growth and retail excellence, we will moderate the pace of our investments in new retail stores; while remaining resolute on creating long-term value for Crocs shareholders."
Although Crocs will continue its search for a chief executive, Smach will step down as interim chief executive when Rees joins the company in June.
Smach said. "We will not compromise our requirements on recruiting the right chief executive, which we believe is one of the most important and impactful things our board can do for its employees and shareholders. We are committed to finding a chief executive who has the deep industry, product and operational experience needed to take Crocs to the next level."
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