Wolverine Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:WWW) announced today the appointment of Byron M. (Mark) Neal to the position of President, Hush Puppies International. Neal will report to Spencer (Skip) Zimmerman, President of the Hush Puppies Company, and replaces Dan West, who retired at the end of 2002 after a decade at the helm of the brand's international operations. Neal was formerly Vice President of Sales for the Hush Puppies U.S. wholesale business.
''The Hush Puppies brand, which began its international expansion in 1959, experienced significant growth under Dan's leadership,'' stated Zimmerman. ''As a result, Hush Puppies is one of the world's foremost global footwear brands, enjoying strong positions within the South American, European and Asian markets. Today, Hush Puppies represents one of the world's most recognized brands, reaching consumers in 97 countries worldwide. The entire Hush Puppies team thanks Dan for his contributions to the brand's success.
''Mark Neal is joining the international team at a great time in Hush Puppies history as prospects for the brand, fueled in part by its new range of global products and new brand imagery, have never been stronger. Neal's Hush Puppies brand experience, leadership and interpersonal skills are just what we need to further cultivate the brand's international partnerships and maximize international growth of the Hush Puppies brand.''
''Since joining the Hush Puppies organization more than seven years ago, I have enjoyed my association with one of the strongest and best brand names in the footwear business,'' stated Mark Neal. ''I truly look forward to my new role and being a part of Hush Puppies global brand building efforts as we work to open new markets and further develop our global product line and marketing programs. I'm confident the future of our international business has never been brighter and that we will continue to gain market share as one of the world's most recognized global brands.''
Mark Neal joined Wolverine in 1995 from Hart, Schaffner & Marx, an apparel company, where he was Executive Vice President, Sales of their Trans Apparel Group. He is a member of Two/Ten Footwear Foundation and graduated from Purdue University.
With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is one of the world's leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport and uniform footwear and slippers. The Company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates(R), Hush Puppies(R), HYTEST(R), Merrell(R) and Wolverine(R). The Company also markets footwear under popular licensed brands including CAT(R), Harley-Davidson(R) and Stanley(R). The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and are distributed internationally in over 140 countries.