Foot Locker: CEO announces retirement

today Nov 5, 2014
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A major handover is occurring at the head of Foot Locker. Kenneth Hicks is stepping down as CEO of the American sporting goods and lifestyle company.

Having joined the company in 2009 from department store chain JC Penney, where he served as President and Chief Merchandising Officer, Hicks will be succeeded by his COO, Richard Johnson. 

In the middle, Ken Hicks, President and CEO of Foot Locker, will step down as CEO next month, making room for Kenneth Hicks | Photo: Foot Locker, Inc.

The new CEO, who will take office on December 1, has a lot to live up to. The group points out that between 2009 and 2013, sales rose from 4.9 to 6.5 billion US dollars and its EBIT from 2.8% to 10.4% of sales. 

Hicks said that he was particularly "proud of what we have accomplished together, including that we will soon report on our 19th consecutive quarter of strong sales and profit growth." The group has benefited in recent years from the rise of major sports lifestyle players (Nike, Jordan, Adidas...). 

Johnson is not, however, entering unfamiliar territory. Since 2012, he has served as the company’s operations manager and notably oversaw the acquisition of Runners Point. His career at Foot Locker spans 17 years, having held key positions in the US and in Europe. With his appointment to the head of the group, he also joins its board.

Hicks, meanwhile, will remain Executive Chairman of the Board through to the company’s annual meeting of shareholders in May 2015, after which he will step down from the board. 

For its second quarter ending August 2, Foot Locker recorded sales of 1.24 billion euros (1.64 billion dollars), up 12.9% compared to the same period last year. As of August 2, Foot Locker had 3460 stores worldwide with its brands Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Footaction, Lady Foot Locker, Champs Sports, SIX:02, Runners Point and Sidestep.

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