The search for a new CEO to lead Crocs is set to intensify now that the iconic footwear manufacturer has resolved its board structure with the addition of two representatives from private equity firm Blackstone Group.
In connection with the closing of a previously announced $200 million investment from Blackstone, Crocs said board members Stephen Cannon and Jeffrey Margolis resigned their board seats. Their positions on the eight member board were filled by Prakash Melwani and Gregg Ribatt. Melwani is senior managing director at Blackstone and chief investment officer of the firm’s private equity group. Ribatt most recently served as president and CEO of Collective Brands performance and lifestyle group.
"We welcome Prakash and Gregg to our board and are confident they will add a great deal of value through their branded consumer goods, retail, and financial experience,” said Crocs chairman Thomas J. Smach. “Although Blackstone's investment will represent approximately 13% ownership at closing, we believe our company, shareholders, and employees will benefit from 100% of Blackstone's focus, global resources, and expertise.”
Smach said the investment by Blackstone and related board appointments represent a fantastic opportunity for shareholders to participate alongside Blackstone and benefit from its efforts to deliver compelling shareholder value.
The next step in value creation involves the appointment of a new CEO to replace John McCarvel whose departure from the company was announced when Blackstone’s investment plans were revealed in December.
"With the closing of the transaction and the appointment of our two new directors, we can now turn our attention to recruiting a new CEO and moving forward with refining the strategic direction of the Crocs business,” Smach said.