Steve Rendle has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of VF Corp. and added to the apparel firm’s board of directors.
Rendle, named senior vice president of the Americas at VF last year and seen as the leading contender to succeed Eric Wiseman as the company’s chief executive officer, had previously been vice president of VF and group president of its dominant Outdoor & Action Sports in the Americas unit since 2011.
Wiseman, 59, continues as chairman and ceo of the company and relinquishes the presidency to Rendle, 55. VF has operated without a chief operating officer in recent years. Rendle continues to report to Wiseman.
In his new position, Rendle will oversee all of VF’s business coalitions worldwide, including Outdoor & Action Sports, Jeanswear, Imagewear, Sportswear and Contemporary Brands. He will also assume responsibility for the Greensboro, N.C.-based company’s supply chain and direct-to-consumer platforms.
“His accomplishments during his nearly 16 years with the company are many, including accelerating VF’s brand growth in the Americas, leading our Outdoor & Action Sports coalition and serving as president at The North Face,” said Wiseman.
The ceo added that Rendle is “sharply focused on VF’s four essential growth drivers — leading in innovation, connecting with consumers, serving consumers directly and expanding geographically.”
Rendle played a key role in the transformation of The North Face, and its success has contributed significantly to the company’s shift from its previous emphasis on mass-market products and denim into a company now led by its Outdoor & Action Sports Coalition. In addition to The North Face, VF’s portfolio now includes four “billion-dollar brands,” with Timberland and Vans also crossing that milestone, along with Wrangler and Lee in Jeanswear.
Rendle joined The North Face in 1999 and was on board when VF acquired the troubled outerwear maker the follow year. He became the brand’s president for the Americas in 2004, serving for five years before being named president of VF’s Outdoor Americas group in 2009. He also led the Timberland business for a period after its 2011 acquisition for $2.3 billion.
Through subsequent acquisitions as well as a number of divestitures, the Outdoor & Action Sportswear Group has continued to grow and generate profit at the strongest rate within the company.
Last year, the coalition’s revenues grew 12.9 percent to $7.2 billion, accounting for 58.6 percent of company sales, up from 55.9 percent the prior year. Operating income was up 18.7 percent to $1.31 billion, constituting 62.4 percent of the aggregate coalition figure.
According to a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rendle’s base salary will be raised to $900,000. In 2014, he drew $706,000 in salary as he made his transition to his new post as senior vice president. The target for his annual incentive bonus was raised to $1 million.
Pressed on what Rendle’s promotion could signify about Wiseman’s retirement plans, VF officials all quoted the ceo, who’s repeatedly told them, “I’m not going anywhere for a while. I’m having too much fun.”