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Wolverine Worldwide names new CEO and lowers outlook

By Prachi Singh


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Sweaty Betty Credits: Sweaty Betty, Facebook

Wolverine World Wide, Inc. revenue of 589.1 million dollars declined 17.4 percent and declined 17.3 percent on a constant currency basis. Revenue from the ongoing business was 578.2 million dollars and declined 13.8 percent on a constant currency basis.

The company also announced that Christopher Hufnagel has been promoted to president and chief executive officer.

“I would like to express my appreciation to our chairman, Tom Long and the entire board of directors for their confidence in me. I’m truly honoured to be the company’s next CEO," said Hufnagel.

"Our second half outlook, as reflected in our updated annual guidance, is disappointing but we are confident that the work we are undertaking will drive significant profit improvement in 2024 and quickly set a strong growth foundation for the company,” Hufnagel added.

Highlights of Wolverine Worldwide’s Q2 performance

The company's international revenue from the ongoing business of 260.9 million dollars was down 6.7 percent or 6.2 percent on a constant currency basis.

Direct-to-consumer revenue of 132.4 million dollars was down 20.3 percent and down 16.4 percent for the ongoing business compared to the prior year.

Gross margin was 38.7 percent compared to 43 percent in the prior year.

Wolverine Worldwide promotes Christopher Hufnagel to CEO

Hufnagel, the company said, joined Wolverine Worldwide in 2008 and has served in leadership roles across the organisation. Before his appointment as president in May 2023, he was president of the company’s active group with responsibility for Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, the Kids Group, and Global Licensing.

Commenting on Hufnagel’s appointment as the new CEO, Tom Long, chairman of the Wolverine Worldwide board of directors said, “The board has confidence in Wolverine’s potential and capacity to deliver strong shareholder value on a sustained basis. This, of course, depends heavily on our continued ability to develop great products and build compelling brands. Chris has a demonstrated track record of successfully building global brands, and he has a deep understanding of the company, our people, and our priorities.”

Hufnagel has also served as Wolverine Worldwide’s global brand president of Merrell and global brand president of Cat Footwear. In earlier roles at the company, he was president of direct-to-consumer and senior vice president of strategy.

Prior to joining Wolverine Worldwide, Hufnagel held senior leadership roles at Under Armour, Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch.

Wolverine Worldwide lowers guidance

The company added that revenue from ongoing business is expected to be in the range of 2.26 billion dollars to 2.28 billion dollars for the full year, representing a decline of approximately 10.7 percent to 10 percent versus the prior year.

Gross margin is expected to be approximately 39.4 percent and adjusted gross margin is expected to be approximately 40 percent, operating margin is expected to be approximately 4.8 percent, and adjusted operating margin is expected to be approximately 5 percent, while diluted earnings per share are expected to be between 43 cents to 53 cents and adjusted diluted earnings per share are expected to be between 45 cents to 55 cents.

"The trading environment is challenging, especially in global wholesale channels where order demand has slowed as retailers manage their businesses more cautiously. As a result, we have reduced our revenue and earnings outlook for the back half of the year,” said Mike Stornant, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Credits: Image: Chris Hufnagel via Business Wire
chris hufnagel
Wolverine Worldwide