Business people : LaCrosse Footwear Appoints President

LaCrosse Footwear Inc. appointed Robert Sasaki as its new president. Sasaki previously served as a finance director at Nike Inc., where he focused on Asia.

Sasaki’s addition to the team is part of a larger investment in USA manufacturing, brand and retail operations, led by new parent company ABC-Mart, INC., Japan’s leading retailer of athletic, business and casual footwear. LaCrosse Footwear was acquired for $138 million last year by ABC-Mart

Under Sasaki’s leadership, Danner will build upon its heritage of crafting the highest- quality boots since 1932, adding 80 new employees to the Portland, Ore factory since August 2012. The company will continue to support its core work and outdoor markets, while increasing investment in the Danner lifestyle category to meet rising demand domestically and overseas.

The first Danner lifestyle concept store will open its doors in downtown Portland in fall 2013. Both brands will launch global marketing campaigns in 2013, including print, digital, television and strategic sponsorships. Additionally, the company intends to expand international manufacturing and distribution in Europe and Asia.

“I am thrilled to join the LaCrosse Footwear team,” Sasaki says. “We recognize the unique opportunity for legendary American heritage brands Danner and LaCrosse to partner with Japan’s leading footwear retailer. With ABC-Mart’s vast knowledge of the footwear retail industry and our Portland team’s immense brand and manufacturing experience, we are well positioned for success in domestic and international markets.”

Sasaki brings more than 15 years international trade and operations experience to the LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. team. He most recently served as finance director for Nike, Inc., with a focus on the Asia markets. He holds a Finance degree from the University of Oregon and an International MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Additional changes to the executive management team include promotions of Craig Cohen as VP of sales & marketing and Steve Belatti as sr. director of product. Both previously held executive management positions within the company, and the rest of the executive team remains unchanged.

Source Lacrosse Footwear Inc.

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