Koichiro Kodama named CEO of Asics America
Japanese sports and footwear company Asics Corp has announced the appointment of Koichiro Kodama as president and CEO of Asics America, part of a slew of executive changes in the group’s North American division following a difficult year.
In his new role, Kodama will assume responsibility for overseeing Asics’ operations in North America. He replaces Gene McCarthy who held the position from September 2015.
"Gene made countless contributions to Asics America as he navigated the brand through an incredibly turbulent time for our industry and implemented numerous changes that set the region on course for success," said Alistair Cameron, Asics Corp executive officer and senior general manager of the geography strategy division, in a release. "We thank him for his energy, spirit and being a true champion of the brand during his time with Asics."
With some three decades of industry experience, Kodama joined Asics in 2016 and has previously served as VP of corporate strategy and EVP of sales for the Americas at the company.
His appointment comes as Asics announces three other changes to the leadership of its North American division. Former Asics Canada President Richard Sullivan, for example, has been named EVP of sales, categories and marketing for the region, a role in which he will be responsible for sales, merchandising, apparel functions and marketing in the US, Canada and Mexico.
Craig Gillan has also been appointed VP for operations, having joined Asics America in 2012 and served in a range of roles related to the company’s e-commerce and direct-to-consumer channels. In his new position, he will oversee all of the company’s operational functions in North America, including distribution, sales operations, logistics, customer service and IT.
Finally, Paul Ljucovic has been named VP of finance, having served as SVP of finance and operations at Asics Canada since 2017.
The leadership reshuffle follows a year in which a weak performance in the US led to Asics’ revenue in the Americas falling 15% to ¥90.2 billion, a fact which contributed to the overall loss of ¥20.3 billion ($182 million) reported by the company for 2018.
Other measures taken by Asics as it attempts to turn its fortunes around in 2019 include the implementation of a new category-led global organizational structure aiming to drive growth in its Running, Core Performance Sports and Sports Style categories, as well as an overhauled management team in the EMEA region.
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