Chris Hufnagel will head the Merrell brand following the departure of Sue Rechner, parent company Wolverine World Wide announced. Hufnagel most recently served as global brand president of Wolverine’s Cat Footwear brand. In his new position, he will continue to report to President of Wolverine Michigan Group Todd Spaletto.
“Chris took aggressive action to help the Cat Footwear team rapidly evolve its growth and go-to-market strategies,” Spaletto said in a statement. “His demonstrated collaboration and partnerships within Wolverine, coupled with deep apparel and lifestyle brand experience, make him an ideal fit to build on the strong foundation already in place at Merrell.”
Hufnagel’s earlier roles at Wolverine include president of consumer direct, SVP and head of corporate strategy and co-chief transformation office for the company’s Wolverine Way Forward strategic initiative. He previously worked for Under Armour, the Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch.
The Merrell brand posted mid-single-digit growth in the second quarter, driven by new launches and strong upward momentum in DTC. Cat sales grew almost 25 percent in the same period.
No president has been named for Cat. Until a replacement is named, Cat leadership will report to Spaletto.