Sustainable textile start-up Thread has hired Bill Besselman from Under Armour as executive vice president to lead the development of its growing business.
Formerly vice president of connected fitness strategy and integration at Under Armour, Besselman oversees marketing and sales in the newly created position at Pittsburgh-based Thread. A B Corporation-certified company that makes fabric out of plastic bottles collected from Haiti and Honduras, Thread has doubled in size since last September through partnerships with companies such as Timberland. Besselman’s role is to lead development of the overall brand, including enhancing the way it tells it story, building out key sales channels, bridging its operations team to partners and driving the overall strategy of the company.
Ian Rosenberger, founder and chief executive officer of Thread, foresees that Besselman will have an immediate impact. “He shares our conviction that retail is not innovative enough in meeting the needs of the 21st-century customer, and he’s here to help us build Thread into the preeminent purpose-driven brand in the industry,” he said.
Thread also can find use for Besselman’s previous experience with wearable technology. At Under Armour, he worked on the senior leadership team and managed its digital strategy development, which entailed integrating the acquisitions of MapMyFitness Inc., MyFitnessPal and Endomondo into the business. Prior to that role, he led the Baltimore-based athletic firm’s corporate strategy team.
“We’re still exploring what wearable tech can mean to our company, but his expertise will help us to find more innovative ways to connect customers to the people who make their products possible,” said Frank Macinsky, Thread’s director of marketing.
Earlier in his career, Besselman served as a senior vice president at American Eagle Outfitters and consulted with retail and consumer goods businesses at McKinsey & Co.