- Wolverine World Wide has appointed Melissa Mullen as global brand president of fitness apparel brand Sweaty Betty, according to a Monday press release.
- Mullen succeeds Sweaty Betty CEO Julia Straus, who left the brand in June and returned to the U.S. with her family. The new brand president will report to Isabel Soriano, president of Wolverine World Wide’s London-based International Group.
- Prior to joining Sweaty Betty, Mullen most recently worked as vice president and general manager of U.K. and Ireland for Jo Malone London. She also brings eight years of experience from Nike in a variety of e-commerce and merchandising roles.
Sweaty Betty’s new executive arrives as its parent company turns its focus to global growth.
“Wolverine World Wide’s strategy includes focusing our efforts and investments on Sweaty Betty and other key brands within our portfolio,” Brendan Hoffman, Wolverine World Wide’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “I’m confident Melissa will help unlock Sweaty Betty’s global growth potential and forge even stronger connections with its consumers around the world.”
Wolverine World Wide — which also owns brands such as Sperry, Merrell and Chaco — acquired Sweaty Betty in August 2021 in an effort to improve the company’s direct-to-consumer strategy. The transaction was valued at about $410 million and was funded by cash and Wolverine’s revolving line of credit.
Mullen’s appointment comes after Wolverine World Wide in March revealed a number of changes to the Sweaty Betty brand intended to fuel long-term growth. Along with the news that Straus would exit the company, Wolverine World Wide proposed a U.K. workforce reduction for the fitness brand that would help secure “savings through Wolverine’s new Profit Improvement Office.”
In December, Wolverine World Wide laid off an undisclosed number of employees in a move that was expected to generate savings of $30 million the following year. The company in February sold the Keds brand to Designer Brands and announced in May that it was exploring strategic alternatives for Sperry.
The parent company’s first-quarter earnings in March showed that revenue declined 2.5% year over year to $599.4 million. Meanwhile, DTC revenue from the business declined 7.7% to $124.9 million.