Red Wing Shoes names its first female CEO

Six years ago, Allison Gettings spearheaded the launch of Red Wing Shoe Company’s Women’s Heritage product line, the company’s first line to feature women’s footwear. Now she has was named the new president and CEO of Red Wing.

Gettings, who is currently the company’s chairman, will assume the CEO role effective Jan. 1 following the retirement of current CEO Mark Urdahl, the company announced in a press release Thursday. She will be the company based in Red Wing 10th CEO and first woman to lead Red Wing Shoe Company since its inception in 1905.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Red Wing Shoe Company and excited for what the future holds,” Gettings said in the press release. “Over the past 117 years, we’ve created incredible ‘brand love’ among our customers across our portfolio of purpose-driven brands, and we have a tremendous opportunity to build on that.” I am very grateful for the support and guidance Mark has provided me, and I look forward to working with the high performing teams he has built as we accelerate our growth.

Gettings is the great-granddaughter of JR Sweasy, who served as president and CEO from 1921 to 1949 and the first fourth-generation family member to lead the company. In addition to spearheading the launch of the Heritage brand in 2016, she is also credited with reshaping the company’s outdoor activities as President of its Vasque brand.

“Allison is the right choice to lead Red Wing and build on the important work Mark has done to position the company for the future,” said Board Chairman Bill Sweasy. “She brings a deep understanding of the business, customers and values ​​of the company, having worked in many different functions for over a decade with the company. She is widely respected for her strategic thinking and ability to bring people together, and I am confident she is ready to guide Red Wing Shoe Company as it enters its next chapter. I would also like to thank Mark for his many contributions and leadership over the past 18 years, including the last seven as CEO/Chairman during an unprecedented time amid the global pandemic.

Red Wing Shoe Company Inc. designs, produces and distributes work, safety and lifestyle footwear and apparel. Its brand names include Red Wing Shoes, Irish Setter, Vasque, WORX and SB Foot Tanning Company. The company employs more than 2,200 people worldwide and operates five US manufacturing plants in Red Wing, Potosi, Missouri and Clarksville, Arizona.

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