NEW YORK — Activewear firms Marika Group, Under Armour and Nike’s Exeter Brands Group have made executive changes and new hires.

Norm Zwail has stepped down as president of yoga and fitness company The Marika Group Inc., and company vice president Shelley Marks has been promoted to that position.

“I have wanted a new challenge in my life for a while,” said Zwail, who was based at the firm’s headquarters in San Diego.

Marks, 49, was hired as vice president last October and is based at Marika’s new showroom on West 23rd Street here. Before working at Marika, Marks was an executive at Jacques Moret. She also has held executive positions at Adidas and Speedo. Marks said she will have an office at the company’s San Diego headquarters and travel there often.

Marika makes yoga apparel and activewear under brands such as Marika, Shiva Shakti, The Balance Collection and Icontmg. Zwail co-founded the company in 1982, and left in 1995 to pursue other interests. The company was eventually sold to an investor group led by Don Schumacher.

Zwail returned as president in 2001, and has overseen expansion in recent years as the firm added brands and began selling to retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Macy’s West. Zwail, who will still be on the company’s board, said he is seeking a new position, and is looking both within the apparel industry and in other sectors.

Meanwhile, Under Armour has brought on four executives to facilitate its growth. Scott Gilbertson has been named senior vice president, Mark MacKay is vice president of international sales, Matt Mirchin is vice president of U.S. sales and Jody Giles is chief information officer.

The four each have a long track record in the industry. Gilbertson was most recently chief operating officer at J. Crew Group and served as acting president in 2002. Prior to J. Crew, he was a principal at buyout firm Texas Pacific Group. At Under Armour, he will assist in formulating overall corporate strategy.

MacKay was vice president of international sales for And1 and has also held executive positions at Reebok. At Under Armour, he will oversee the brand’s expansion internationally.

This story first appeared in the June 2, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Mirchin was most recently a sales executive at Sara Lee Corp.’s Champion division and has also held executive positions at Russell Athletic. Mirchin will support senior vice president of sales Ryan Wood in managing the company’s domestic accounts. Giles, who was most recently vice president and chief information officer at Vans Inc., will oversee the company’s computer systems and technology infrastructure.

The Baltimore-based company, which has annual sales of some $200 million, has been expanding rapidly and has been aggressively building up its women’s business. It is one of the fastest-growing companies in the activewear industry and is credited with helping pump up interest in compression wear and technical performance apparel. The nine-year-old firm now makes a range of innerwear and sportswear products for sports such as football, running, skiing and lacrosse.

At Nike’s Exeter Group division, Todd Blumenthal was appointed to the newly created position of vice president and general manager of product and design. He will oversee the group’s portfolio of brands, including the Starter, Team Starter, Asphalt, Shaq and Dunkman brands, and will report to Exeter Brands president Mary Gleason.

Blumenthal, 41, was most recently global merchandising director for Nike footwear, and has also held design positions at The Limited, Gap and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. Nike created Exeter Brands Group last August when it purchased Official Starter Properties.

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