Two months after the death of Jon Epstein, Fila North America has named Jennifer Estabrook as his successor as president.
In this role, she becomes the company’s first female president. Estabrook had been serving as acting president following Epstein’s death after heart surgery.
All divisions and departments of Fila North America will continue to report to Estabrook. Fila North America and Fila Luxembourg S.à.r.l. are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Fila Korea Ltd., a public company listed on the Korea Exchange.
Estabrook joined Fila North America and its affiliates in 2005, holding posts such as chief operating officer of Fila North America, and as a member of the board of managers and head of global licensing for Fila Luxembourg S.à.r.l. Prior to that, she was executive vice president of business operations for Fila North America. She serves on the board of Acushnet Company, the publicly traded maker of Titleist, FootJoy and other leading golf brands majority-owned by Fila Korea.
The company has been enhancing its ties to the fashion world with various collaborations. Fila recently linked with the Japanese women’s wear label Snidel to sell a 14-piece limited-edition collection. Last fall, Fila hosted its first runway show in Milan, where the brand also inaugurated a retrospective at the Triennale design museum. The coed collection drew inspiration from tennis, swimming and sailing, which included an homage to the signature style of Björn Borg, one of Fila’s most popular and successful faces.
In releasing the news Friday, Fila executives noted the parent company Fila Korea’s recent announcement of record revenue, profits and stock price at its annual shareholder meeting in Seoul last week. In 2018, revenue for Fila North America reached its highest level since Epstein took over the helm of the brand in 2007.
Fila chairman Gene Yoon described Estabrook as “the steady hand that the Fila North America family turned to without hesitation as we faced the shock and profound sadness of Jon Epstein’s death.” He added how the company’s formal review confirmed what Epstein often said that Estabrook “has the industry savvy, financial and operational command, and passion for the brand to guide Fila to its next stage of disciplined, high-octane global growth.”
Describing Epstein as being like “a brother,” Yoon said, “The decision to elevate one of our own to provide leadership for the next generation should surprise no one who understands Fila’s culture, heritage of authenticity, and incredible brand momentum.”