Management Turnover as Change Agent

Friday, May 23, 2008

Update: Heely's New CEO Takes Helm

Heelys HLYS (NASDAQ), the wheeled sneaker manufacturer who hit a wall after its fad began to waiver, has put in place a new CEO, Don Carroll.  Back in February, Heelys' CEO Michael Staffaroni resigned (see earlier blog) as the company's fortunes continued to sink.  Upon Staffaroni's resignation the company appointed Ralph T. Parks, who at the time had been recently appointed to the company's board.  Parks will remain a member of the board now that Carroll is the new CEO.  

Carroll originally joined Heelys back in early January when he was appointed SVP of Marketing.  While Carroll appears to have over twenty years of consumer product experience, at first glance he does not bring anything extraordinary to the table.  For the last two years he was a managing director at Vector2group, a professional services company intended to drive operational improvements in companies.  Prior to Vector2group he worked for Radio Shack for eight years.  His last position at the company he was the SVP Marketing and Brand Officer. While all these positions were useful, what do they offer for a company reeling from falling sales and need for a major strategic re-focus?  According to a piece in the Advertiser, Carroll is quoted,
... he's got big brand-revival plans. Within five years, its wheeled shoes that generate 100 percent of sales will account for just 30 percent to 35 percent, he projects.
While the company and Carroll have product plans he has a tough task ahead.

Stay tuned.

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