Brooks Running Company Doubles Down on Footwear Business with New Talent in Design and Leadership
Performance footwear veterans join Brooks and set sights on next-level running experiences
SEATTLE- Aug. 3, 2016
Brooks Running Company ratchets up the pace on growing its footwear business with the promotion of Patrick Pons de Vier to Senior Vice President of Global Footwear and the hiring of Gerald Kuhtz as Senior Design Director of Global Footwear. Pons de Vier and Kuhtz will leverage decades of expertise to lead Brooks’ footwear team to propel the design, performance and overall experience of Brooks’ running shoes in the quest to lead each footwear segment in which the brand competes. These new roles are just part of Brooks’ overall investment to lead with performance product on its way to becoming the No. 1 brand for all who run.
“Throughout their careers, Patrick and Gerald have driven innovation on category-leading product lines in the performance sport and outdoor segments. Their success has been an outcome of intense focus on the athlete, enthusiast and active participant and then delivering distinctive product solutions with elegant design and functional technology. We are delighted to have them on the Brooks team,” said Brooks CEO Jim Weber. “Both are innovators by nature, and coupled with Brooks’ award-winning footwear team, we know we can bring runners more excitement, performance, comfort and joy mile after mile. There’s so much opportunity to introduce new, tuned experiences to the run, and our team is on it.”
As Senior Vice President of Global Footwear, Pons de Vier leads Brooks’ entire footwear team including design, development, product management, and research and development. His goals include driving product consistency, continued excellence and innovation, and establishing a design identity that brings clarity to Brooks’ footwear aesthetic. Previous to Brooks, Pons de Vier worked at Amer Sports as the Vice President in charge of Salomon where he led winter sports equipment, apparel and ran footwear strategic alignment and integration. He also pioneered Salomon’s snowboard line, ran the brand’s Footwear Business Unit and built Amer Sports’ footwear platform to launch Arc’teryx footwear.
“Joining Brooks is a natural fit for me and I’m excited to bring my experience and leadership to its world class footwear team,” said Pons de Vier. “I prioritize innovation and am eager to take Brooks’ leading running footwear and technologies to the next level, solidify our footwear as the best and most advanced in the market and bring more runners to the brand than ever before.
Kuhtz joins Brooks to oversee and advance the design component of the company’s art-plus-science footwear equation. Runners place increasing importance on the aesthetic of their shoes and trust they will perform just as well; part of Kuhtz’s role is to lead design so every shoe delivers on Brooks’ unique technologies and philosophies with a compelling visual identity that provides clarity for the runner on what experience to expect from that shoe. Kuhtz, the VP of Football Design for adidas before coming to Brooks, started his career in footwear design at adidas in 1998 as an advanced designer for the adidas Futures Team. He also designed and directed design for the adidas Golf, TaylorMade and Ashworth brands.
“I’m passionate about breaking new ground in design and performance, and I’m eager to do that with running shoes here at Brooks,” said Kuhtz. “With an already high bar in performance running footwear, our products will command attention when we combine great aesthetics with incredible innovation."
The addition of Kuhtz and promotion of Pons de Vier are two more examples of Brooks’ investment in and commitment to product excellence, business growth and enhancing the run experience. With the March launch of Run Signature—Brooks’ holistic biomechanics and shoe fitting philosophy—2016 is a milestone year in building momentum for Brooks innovation and business.
About Brooks Running Company
Brooks Running Company sells its performance footwear, apparel, sports bras and accessories in more than 50 countries worldwide. Brooks’ purpose is to inspire everyone to run and be active by creating innovative gear designed to keep runners running longer, farther and faster. This purpose is supported by Brooks’ Run Happy philosophy, a quest to celebrate and champion the sport of running and all runners everywhere. Founded 1914, Brooks is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and is headquartered in Seattle. Visit www.brooksrunning.com for more information or follow us on Twitter (@brooksrunning) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/brooksrunning).