Blake Krueger, who was reported a few weeks ago to be 66 years old, with a net worth of more than $40 million, is gradually relinquishing his functions at Wolverine Worldwide, where he has worked for 28 years. The 52-year-old Brandan Hoffmann, who took his place as president of the group last September, will also succeed him as CEO at the end of this year. Krueger will remain chairman of the board, and as part of the transition program, he will assume the newly created position of executive chairman.
Hoffmann joined Wolverine last year after running Vince Holding Corp., a global contemporary fashion brand where he developed its e-commerce and digital platforms. He previously ran Neiman Marcus’ web store and served as CEO and president of Bon-Ton Stores and Lord & Taylor.
In the past nine months, Hoffmann has been oversseing the development of Wolverine’s brands and its direct-to-consumer business. One of his objectives has been to achieve a bold goal of generating revenues of $500 million this year through e-commerce, or double the 2019 level. As Wolverine says, he and Krueger have been working together also “to navigate the impacts of Covid-19, and strategically position the Company and its brands for accelerated post-pandemic growth and continued long-term success.”
Krueger is credited for transforming Wolverine from a traditional footwear wholesaler into a “consumer-obsessed” group with one of the largest portfolios of footwear and lifestyle brands. He led the acquisition of Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Stride Rite, Keds and Chaco. He helped expand its international network to more than 170 markets. Under him, Wolverine’s stock market capitalization has increased 30 times over.
Krueger was elevated to the position of president and chief operating officer of Wolverine in 2005, after spending 12 years with the group in various roles including human resources, retail, business development, licensing, acquisitions and legal matters. He was promoted to president and CEO in 2007. He added the title of chairman two years later.