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Footwear chain confirms female CEO

Leader footwear retailer Brown Shoes Company officially has a new president and CEO following its annual shareholders’ meeting. Diane Sullivan was named to both roles back in January, but the company implemented the change gradually as Sullivan assumed responsibilities from Ronald Fromm, who will continue to serve as chairman of the company best known for its Famous Footwear and Naturalizer store banner.

Sullivan joined Brown shoe in 2004 as president and COO after spending four years as vice chairman of the footwear group at Phillips-Van Heusen. Prior to that she served as president and COO of Stride Rite and as a VP product and marketing at The Rockport Company.

“In my first few months I am prioritizing the identification of opportunities to strengthen the alignment of our businesses with our key consumer focus areas of healthy living, contemporary fashion and family – and in doing so increase our connection with customers and drive shareholder value,” Sullivan said. “Together with my leadership team and the tremendous Brown Shoe talent around the globe, I'm committed to building on our great foundation to further the momentum of the past year as we inspire people to feel good and live better, feet first.”

Brown Shoe is a $2.7 billion global footwear company that operates more than 1,100 Famous Footwear and 250 Naturalizer stores while its wholesale division designs and markets brands such as Dr. Scholl's, LifeStride, Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Via Spiga, Etienne Aigner, Vera Wang Lavender, Avia, ryka, AND 1, and Buster Brown.

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