Big thanks to reader Scott A. who sent along the above article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Remember when Allen Edmonds was sold a few months back to the company that owns Famous Footwear, and some of us were cautiously optimistic because AE’s CEO Paul Grangaard was staying on board?
Yeah. About that…
Grangaard became the head of Allen Edmonds in 2008, which if you’ll recall, was at the height of the great recession. So what happened during his tenure? Allen Edmonds nearly doubled their employment, came out with a bunch of new forward-looking styles and colors (you can thank him for walnut, bourbon, and oxblood), still remained rooted to their heritage, and cemented themselves in the minds of many of us as easily one of the best bang-for-the-buck investments in the menswear industry.
Walnut Strands. The shoe & shade that perhaps defined Grangaard’s tenure.
According to Grangaard, this was his decision/plan to leave, and it appears he’s looking forward to a much less hectic life. For example, in his “see you around” post, he says he’s going to play some golf, maybe do some music production, perhaps teach, and “be a much less valuable customer of Delta Airlines.”
It’s hard to blame him.
So. Who’s the new guy? The new guy is Malcolm Robinson, and he’s charged with expanding “the international footprint across the company’s portfolio.” Robinson is a former Executive VP at Gant, and most recently served as Executive Vice President at One Jeanswear Group – William Rast Division, where he was in charge of the William Rast brand. He was also the CEO as well as a board member for Tommie Copper (yes, the compression garment/sleeve brand) and was president at Maidenform Brands.
Grangaard? He was in investment banking before taking over at Allen Edmonds. In fact, he parachuted in from the company that bought Allen Edmonds back in 2008 to lead the shoemaker after they became a part of the investment company’s portfolio.
I’m not going to pretend to have any solid insights into how Grangaard’s departure and Robinson’s arrival will impact, if at all, the future of Allen Edmonds.
All I can say is that I was an enormous fan of Grangaard’s tenure. Also, Robinson has some big shoes to fill. And those shoes are also well made, incredibly good looking, and reasonably priced.
Here’s to hoping that all stays the same.