Wendy Yang, who helped transform the Hoka brand from a niche running shoe to a buzzy fashion-industry darling, said Thursday that she will be stepping down as president of performance lifestyle for Deckers Brands, Hoka’s parent, at the end of the month.
Stefano Caroti, president of omnichannel for Deckers and a 30-year industry veteran, will assume Yang’s responsibilities on an interim basis while the company conducts a search for a successor. Yang will remain with the company as a consultant through Aug. 15 to ensure a smooth transition.
Yang, who oversaw Hoka and Teva for Deckers for the past seven years, joined the company in 2015 from New Balance. Before that, she was with The Stride Rite Corp. and was with Reebok.
“Over the last seven years, our performance lifestyle segment has delivered immense growth — with nearly $900 million in global revenue for Hoka this past fiscal year — thanks to a significant increase of brand adoption in many of our mainstream markets,” said Dave Powers, president and chief executive officer of Deckers. “On behalf of the entire Deckers team, I want to thank Wendy for her tremendous contributions over the years. With Hoka and Teva in their strongest positions to date in a highly competitive marketplace, I am confident in our ability to continue our positive momentum. I look forward to the future with this talented team and wish Wendy the best.”
Yang commented, “This has been an incredible journey with talented and amazing people, and it has been a privilege to lead this passionate team. Through the discipline, hard work and dedicated focus of many, Hoka and Teva have made significant strides. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work in a business so committed to making a positive impact on people, their communities and the planet. I look forward to following the success of these outstanding brands for years to come.”
The announcement about Yang came as Deckers reported fourth-quarter and year-end earnings on Thursday. In the quarter, Hoka sales increased 59.7 percent to $283.5 million and were up 56 percent for the year to $891.6 million.