Saucony Seeks Surer Footing, Taps Havas Vet As CMO

Wolverine World Wide has appointed Joy Allen-Altimare as its new global chief marketing officer, hoping to help the troubled brand regain its relevance in the ultra-competitive running shoe category. Allen-Altimare had been the chief revenue officer for Havas Media Network, where she headed up the agency’s client experience, growth and multicultural teams.

She replaces Kathryn Burke Pratt, who was hired by the Rockford, Michigan-based company from L.L. Bean two years ago. A spokesperson says Pratt left the company last year to pursue other opportunities.

Wolverine is less than a year into a major overhaul, with new-ish chief executive officer Christopher E. Hufnagel leading a transformation. But it is slow going. In quarterly results released in May, the company posted $394.4 million in revenue, a staggering 34% decline as it continues to reduce inventory. Saucony, a 125-year-old brand and the shoe company’s second biggest after Merrell, saw sales slide 25% to $100.1 million. (The company’s brand portfolio also includes Sweaty Betty, Hush Puppies, Chaco and Stride Rite.)



Those declines are particularly remarkable, given the blistering sales growth of rivals such as On Running, Hoka, and New Balance, steady gains from brands like Brooks Running, and impressive new entrants, including Lululemon.

Allen-Altimare will report to Rob Griffiths, who took the helm as Saucony’s global brand president last summer.

Allen-Altimare “is a passionate change driver with an empathetic and inclusive approach to leadership and cultural transformation,” Griffith says in a press release announcing her appointment. “Saucony is in an exciting period of growth, and as we focus on building a consumer-obsessed brand, part of that journey also requires establishing a winning workplace culture where everyone feels valued, invested and included. Joy possesses the abilities needed to achieve this, creating an aspirational brand and energizing people to always keep moving forward."

Before Havas, Allen-Altimare was the CMO of Kindbody, a technology-driven fertility clinic network. She has also been chief revenue officer for EHE Health.

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