We could not get any explanations at the time of going to press for the almost simultaneous departure of three top managers of Timberland, despite the encouraging progress that it has made in the recent past under the ownership of VF Corporation and its brightening prospects.
We learned first that Patrik Frisk, left VF at the end of October to become the new chief executive of the Aldo Group, the big international, Montreal-based chain that operates more than 1,700 corporate and franchised shoe shops around the world. He started his new job on Nov. 1, replacing Réjean Dionne who acted as Aldo's CEO in the past three years. He has been with the company for 27 years.
Frisk, a Swedish manager who is now 51 years, worked for Peak Performance and W.L. Gore & Associates before he joined VF in 2004 as regional manager for Scandinavia. He then ran the European business of The North Face, and his responsibilities were extended in 2009 to cover VF's whole Outdoor & Action Sports Coalition for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Frisk moved to the U.S. to run Timberland shortly after its acquisition by VF Corporation in 2011, and he conducted the brand's successful integration into the group. Last April, he was promoted to the position of president of VF's Outdoor Coalition for the Americas, with regional responsibilities for Timberland, TNF, JanSport, Smartwool and Lucy. As reported, Stewart Whitney was subsequently named global brand president of Timberland with effect from Oct. 5.
We subsequently learned about the departure of Marco Messini, who has been with Timberland for ten years. He initially headed up Timberland's Italian subsidiary. His responsibilities were gradually extended to all of Southern Europe. He was promoted in 2012 to vice president of wholesale operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Last spring, his responsibilities at the wholesale level were transferred to Mariano Alonso, a new recruit who came from Camper, who is also taking care of distributors. Messini was appointed vice president of partnership stores for the EMEA region, coordinating Timberland's big store franchising program.
We have also been informed about the departure of Luca Ghidini, a successor of Messini in the position of Italian country manager. He had spent six years with the company. Timberland says it is recruiting new managers to take the places of Messini and Ghidini. Alonso will assume their functions in the interim.