NEW YORK — Continuing a year-long executive shuffle, Reebok International Ltd. Wednesday promoted Martin Coles to president and chief executive officer of the Reebok brand.

This story first appeared in the June 13, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

He succeeds David Purdue, who left the athletic footwear and apparel giant to take the position of chairman and ceo of Pillowtex Corp., a maker of home fashions that recently emerged from bankruptcy.

Coles reports to Jay Margolis, president and chief operating officer of the Canton, Mass.-based company. Since January, Coles had served as executive vice president of global operating units at Reebok.

Prior to joining Reebok, Coles had worked at personal computer maker Gateway Inc., but his resume also includes an eight-year stint at Nike Inc.’s European operations.

“Martin’s management style and global experience, particularly in the U.S. and key international markets such as Europe and Asia, in product, sales, marketing and general management, will provide the critical leadership needed to fuel our continued growth,” Margolis said in a statement.

Reebok has made a number of changes in its senior management lineup since April 2001, when Angel Martinez — widely viewed as the heir apparent to chairman and ceo Paul Fireman — stepped down as executive vice president and chief marketing officer after 21 years with the firm. Margolis is one of the company’s more recent high-level hires. He joined the firm in January. Perdue was promoted to his last post in January.

Reebok posted earnings of $102.7 million last year, a 27 percent rise from 2000, on sales of $2.99 billion, which were up 4.5 percent. The firm in recent quarters has offset sliding footwear sales by rapidly growing its apparel sales.

Coles could not be reached for comment.

Pillowtex, a maker of home textiles based in Kannapolis, N.C., last month emerged from an 18-month stay in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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