Asics North America has elevated Richard Sullivan, its current president and chief operating officer, to chief executive officer of the region as well as an executive officer of Asics Corp. He will also retain the title of president.
The role of CEO of North America had been vacant since Koichiro Kodama was named managing executive officer of the corporation last year.
“Richard has shown great leadership for our North American region, especially during an incredibly complicated and challenging time,” said Kodama. “He has been instrumental in navigating the business forward and we are so pleased to see such positive momentum and strong results for the brand across the region under his leadership.”
Sullivan will continue to lead the North American region overseeing Canada, Mexico and the U.S. His appointment is effective Jan. 1.
“The progress our business has made in the last year is a true testament to the team here in Asics North America, our global colleagues and the partnerships with our North American customers,” said Sullivan. “I look forward to continuing this momentum as we strive to deliver innovative product offerings to our consumers, while staying true to the mission that our brand was founded on: ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’.”
In August, Asics Corp. reported sales rose 50.6 percent in the North American region in the first six months, to 42.8 billion yen from 28.4 billion yen in the year-ago period. The division also returned to profitability, reporting operating income of 1.94 billion yen versus a loss of 2.13 billion yen in the first half of last year.
Specifically in the U.S., the brand’s sales grew 51.8 percent with strength in the Run Specialty, Strategic Partners and Sporting Goods channels and a quarterly triple-digit year-over-year rebound in the Family channel. In addition to its core running product, Asics noted that tennis experienced triple-digit growth year-over-year in the second quarter.
Sullivan joined Asics in 2016 as president of the Canadian division and served as executive vice president of North America, overseeing digital sales, marketing and merchandising from 2019 to 2020. He was named president and chief operating officer last year.