Human Resources, Manufacturing, and Retail

Wolverine Worldwide names brand presidents

September 15, 2014
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Wolverine Worldwide names brand presidents
Rick Blackshaw. Courtesy Wolverine Worldwide

Wolverine Worldwide has named two new leaders of its Sperry Top-Sider and Keds brands.

The Rockford-based footwear maker said today that Rick Blackshaw, who was serving as president of the Keds brand, has been appointed president of Sperry Top-Sider, and Chris Lindner, who was the chief marketing officer and senior VP of business development for Sperry, has been appointed president of Keds.

Blackshaw leads Sperry Top-Sider

While serving as president of Keds, Wolverine said Blackshaw led the brand to a global resurgence with a “focused consumer-centric business strategy, outstanding product and compelling marketing.”

The company said today Keds is one of the fastest-growing brands in the industry.

Blackshaw came to Keds from Converse, where he was the vice president and general manager of the Chuck Taylor footwear business.

“Rick Blackshaw is a dynamic, strategic leader with an unrivaled passion for brands and consumers," said Blake W. Krueger, chairman, CEO and president, Wolverine Worldwide. "What Rick and team have been able to do with the Keds brand is nothing short of remarkable, and the company is pleased to have such a proven and energized executive leading our second-largest brand, Sperry Top-Sider."

Lindner leads Keds

In addition to his previous role with Sperry-Top Sider, Lindner has also served as the chief marketing officer and senior VP of global sales for Wolverine’s Saucony brand.

Lindner spent nearly 10 years at Nike in a variety of senior marketing roles before joining Wolverine.

"Chris Lindner has a diverse brand background building iconic, global brands, including Saucony, Converse and Nike,” Krueger said. “We expect that his absolute passion for consumer engagement will help drive the continued global expansion of Keds, whose recent growth has been led by Brave Girl No. 1, Taylor Swift."

Lindner said the Keds team has "set a bold vision to become the leading brand for teen girls around the globe."

"I look forward to being a part of the next step of growth for this iconic American brand,” added Lindner.


Wolverine Worldwide is one of the world's leading marketers of footwear and apparel in several categories: casual, work, uniform, children’s, active, athletic and outdoor sport.

The company markets products under several brands: Merrell, Sperry Top-Sider, Hush Puppies, Saucony, Wolverine, Keds, Stride Rite, Sebago, Cushe, Chaco, Bates, HYTEST and Soft Style.  

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