The North Face Promotes Steve Murray to Global Brand President

Core outdoor and snowsports apparel and gear brand The North Face has a new leader.

The company’s parent, Denver-based VF Corp., on Tuesday announced that it has tapped Steve Murray as TNF’s new global brand president.

Steve Murrary

Murray, right, who was previously VF’s president of the Americas region, replaces Arne Arens, who has left the company. As part of the change, VF eliminated the role of president of the Americas.

That wasn’t all for VF, which said Tuesday that the leaders of its three core brands — Vans, The North Face and Timberland — as well as the president of its emerging brands (all other brands in its portfolio) now report directly to Steve Rendle, VF’s chairman, president and CEO

“As we work to become a more integrated brand-building company, we must operate differently and manage our Core and Emerging Brands in differentiated ways in order to help each of them achieve their full potential,” said Rendle. “As we do this, it’s critical that we place our strongest talent on our most important opportunities to drive long-term, sustainable growth across our portfolio and in all geographies.”

In addition to Murray, the other leaders include Doug Palladini, global brand president, Vans; Martino Scabbia Guerrini, president of the EMEA region and interim global brand president for Timberland; and Kevin Bailey, president of the Asia Pacific region and emerging brands.

Murray’s experience should bode well for both The North Face and its parent company. He served as president of Vans following VF’s acquisition of the brand in 2004 and was later appointed as president of VF’s Action Sports Coalition in 2009. He has also held leadership roles with iconic youth brands, including serving as CEO of Airwair International (Dr. Martens), global brand president of Urban Outfitters, and EMEA president for Deckers Brands. Earlier in his career, Murray was the global head of apparel for Reebok International.

“Steve is an incredibly strong and well-respected leader who knows our industry inside and out,” Rendle said. “I look forward to working even more closely with him, Doug, Martino and Kevin to accelerate our business model transformation and pursue the many opportunities ahead for all brands in the VF portfolio.”

Here is a link to VF’s full executive leadership team.

Photos courtesy The North Face

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Longtime business writer Eric Smith is the founder of Snowsports Business Report. Reach him at or 901-573-9156.