Merrell Adds Hy Rosario to Team and Makes Investment in PD

Wolverine World Wide’s Outdoor Group Makes Significant Investment in Product Development Team and Adds Hy Rosario to Merrell Team Emphasis on Gender-Specific Product Development Teams Expected to Accelerate Growth of Key Footwear Initiatives

Rockford, Mich. (May 20, 2010) — The financial stability of Wolverine Worldwide and the continued impressive results of the Outdoor Group allow Merrell, Chaco and Patagonia Footwear to aggressively invest in new product development capabilities. Over the last eight months, the Outdoor Group has been executing on plans building additional product prowess, adding key talent throughout the Product Development Teams, enhancing sourcing capabilities, and implementing a new process to better integrate marketing and sales. The results of these investments are coming to fruition as new products take shape for the Spring 2011 launch.

“Our increased investment in product development will bolster a creative process that sets Chaco, Merrell and Patagonia Footwear apart as leaders in the outdoor market,” said Jim Zwiers, President of Wolverine World Wide's Outdoor Group. “These changes are now implemented and the teams are evolving with new talent allowing for a greater focus dedicated to each distinct brand and gender - men's, women's and kids. We are confident that this new process will enhance creative freedom and the ability to bring innovative products to the market. We are very excited about the future.”

Most recently, Merrell added Hy Rosario as Vice President Product Development - Merrell Men's. In his new role at Merrell, Rosario will leverage his global acumen, proven track record in delivering sales growth and ability to successfully execute a product strategy to grow the men's footwear business. Rosario, who most recently led Hi-Tec's product development team, brings extensive outdoor and multi-brand experience to Merrell, with more than 18 years in the footwear industry. In his tenure at Hi-Tec, Rosario drove innovative product initiatives and growth through his proven product innovation and management skills. Prior to Hi-Tec, Rosario led product teams at Reebok and Stride Rite.

Rosario joins Merrell veteran Manon Belley, Vice President Product Development - Merrell Women's Team, Deirdre McDonnell who joined the team at the end of 2009 to direct the Merrell kid's product development team and Jim Scholle, another Merrell veteran who now directs strategic development. Additional investments have been made to strengthen the brand specific product development teams for Chaco and Patagonia Footwear. Brandan Hill leads the Chaco product development team and Les Horne leads the Patagonia Footwear product development team. This group of senior managers reports to Bill Dodge, Vice President – Outdoor Group Product Development, who took over the leadership of the team in September 2009.

“We are excited about the product innovation pipeline in The Outdoor Group as our teams focus on key priorities. Each brand is distinct and is clearly defined in the market and we carefully cultivate the individual brand's special connection with the consumer through our product offerings,” states Dodge.

About Merrell
Merrell® is a brand within the Outdoor Group, a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. that also includes Chaco and Patagonia Footwear. Merrell believes in encouraging everyone to get outside, be active and have fun, and is the largest outdoor brand partner of the National Park Foundation. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is headquartered in Rockford, Michigan. The company's portfolio of highly-recognized brands includes: Bates®, Chaco, Cushe®, Hush Puppies®, Merrell®, Sebago® and Wolverine®. The Company is also the exclusive footwear licensee of the following popular brands: CAT®, Harley-Davidson® and Patagonia®. The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in nearly 180 countries and territories. Merrell, 9341 Courtland Drive, Rockford, Mich. 49351. Phone: (800) 789-8586; Fax: (888) 746-3329. FACEBOOK!/merrell?ref=nf. TWITTER: @merrelloutside.


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