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Calares announces leadership changes to drive growth, names Jay Schmidt as President

By Prachi Singh

2 Dec 2020

Business

Caleres has announced several transformational changes to its leadership structure that the company said, will ensure greater alignment with its strategic direction, accelerate its growth initiatives, unlock the power of its portfolio of brands and drive sustainable, long-term value for its shareholders. This transition, the company added, combines the organization’s operating divisions under a unified structure. As a part of the new strategy, Jay Schmidt has been named President of the company, effective immediately.

“This transformation will drive a renewed, consumer-focused approach that will combine the knowhow of our internal resources with the fresh ideas of new industry talent and draw on the strengths of our entire portfolio in the most efficient and value-creating way possible,” said Diane Sullivan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company in a statement.

Jay Schmidt named President of Caleres

As president, the company further said, Schmidt will assume responsibility for all of the consumer and brand strategy for Caleres’ entire portfolio, which includes Famous Footwear, Allen Edmonds, Dr. Scholl’s, Naturalizer, Sam Edelman and Vionic, among others. Schmidt most recently held the position of Division President, Caleres Brand Portfolio. Prior to joining the company in 2009, Schmidt spent more than 25 years developing his extensive merchandising, portfolio management and brand marketing experience. He spent ten years with Nine West Group in several capacities and held positions of increasing responsibility with Lord & Taylor, May Merchandising Corporation and Macy’s.

“Jay is a strategic and innovative leader, merchant at his core, cultural steward, and the ideal person to step into the president’s role. He is one of a few people who can combine his extensive expertise with his strong vision around product creation and brand development, all while keeping the customer at the very center of his focus,” added Sullivan.

Caleres announces leadership appointments

Caleres also announced several other changes to the portfolio’s leadership structure – tapping both internal and external talent to support and implement its strategy. The company has appointed Lydia Park Luis as President, Brand Portfolio-New York Group, and will have responsibility for the company’s international business. Luis was most recently chief executive officer of Jack Rogers where she oversaw rebranding and reorganization of the 60-year-old footwear brand. Prior to Jack Rogers, she was chief commercial officer of Rag & Bone and held leadership positions at Tory Burch, where she led the U.S. wholesale business and international operations and licensing.

Additionally, Keith Duplain has been promoted to President, Brand Portfolio-St. Louis Group. Duplain has been with Caleres for 15 years and has more than two decades of experience within the industry. As previously disclosed, effective November 20, 2020, Michael Edwards was named President, Famous Footwear leading Caleres’ largest brand. “Luis, Duplain and Edwards, in combination with the outstanding leadership of Sam Edelman and Chris Gallagher, will create an even more powerful team as we continue to drive our consumer and brand strategy moving forward,” said Sullivan.

Furthermore, the company has formed a new, digital acceleration team and Willis Hill, Caleres’ Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, has been entrusted to assemble the core digital team, formulate a strategy, execute the plan and drive further ecommerce growth across the entire portfolio. Hill has been with Caleres for 12 years – holding positions of increasing responsibility within the organization – contributing meaningfully to the development of the company’s digital and technology platform.

Picture credit:Business Wire