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VF Reorganizes Coalition Structure

Lifestyle-brand giant VF Corp. divides its outdoor coalition into two business segments.

Lifestyle-brand giant VF Corp. has divided its outdoor coalition into two business segments and added an international coalition to its corporate structure.

This story first appeared in the January 21, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The biggest changes come to the outdoor coalition, home to powerhouse brands — such as The North Face, Vans and Napapijri — and VF’s key growth driver over the last several years. As of Feb. 1, the outdoor coalition will be divided into the outdoor Americas and action sports Americas coalitions. Revenues in the outdoor segment have been strong in recent years, thanks to a string of acquisitions and consistent double-digit revenue growth. For 2007, outdoor revenues came in at $2.39 billion, compared with revenues of $582.9 million in 2003.

“VF’s outdoor coalition has enjoyed significant success over the past five years, achieving scale in both the outdoor and action sports industries,” said Eric Wiseman, chairman and chief executive officer. “To align our coalition structure to best capture future opportunities in these industries, we are replacing the outdoor Americas coalition with two separate coalitions.”

The reorganization has resulted in the departure of Dave Gatto, who held the position of president of VF Outdoor Americas for the last four years. Steve Rendle, president of The North Face, has been promoted to president of the Outdoor Americas segment. He will be responsible for overseeing The North Face, JanSport and Eagle Creek brands in the region. Rendle joined The North Face in 1999, a year before it was acquired by VF.

Stephen Murray, president of Vans Inc., has been promoted to president of Action Sports Americas. His responsibilities will include expansion of the Vans and Reef brands. Murray joined Vans in 1998. The brand was acquired by VF in 2004. Rendle and Murray will report to Wiseman.

VF has also appointed Martino Scabbia Guerrini as president of the new sportswear and contemporary brands coalition for Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Guerrini was president of VF International sportswear and packs, and joined VF in 2006. His responsibilities include overseeing the Kipling, Napapijri, Eastpak and Seven For All Mankind brands. Guerrini will report to Karl Heinz Salzburger, president of VF International.