Gregg Ribatt has been named president and chief executive officer of Stride Rite Corp.
Ribatt, 39, hails from Stuart Weitzman Holdings LLC, where he was president and ceo. He begins his new role on Jan. 7 and will report to Matt Rubel, president and ceo of Stride Rite Corp. of Collective Brands, Inc. In May, Payless ShoeSource Inc. acquired Stride Rite Corp. for $800 million plus debt, in an all-cash deal. Rubel is also Payless’ president and ceo.
Ribatt succeeds David Chamberlain, who retired earlier this year. The firm has eliminated the position of chief operating officer after the departure of Rick Thornton, who left the company to pursue other opportunities.
Ribatt will lead and direct the growth and brand building of Stride Rite’s brands, including its eponymous brand, Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Robeez and Saucony. He will be responsible for managing operations including design, development and the company’s 300-chain network of Stride Rite stores.
“Greg defines the new type of leadership in our industry,” said Rubel. “He has tremendous strategic business thinking. He has the schooling beyond the practical experience.”
Some of Ribatt’s first initiatives, according to Rubel, are to grow Sperry Top-Sider to a multicategory lifestyle brand and to launch Jessica Simpson girls footwear in holiday 2008.