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Industry Players on Krueger's Success

Friends and colleagues share their thoughts what makes the Wolverine CEO one of the industry’s most respected power players.

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Danny Schwartz

Photo By courtesy

Jim Salzano
President, Clarks Cos. NA

“Blake is very innovative. I admire and respect him a lot. He’s a great strategic thinker. He’s got a very strategic approach to the business of Two Ten Footwear Foundation, as well as his own business. None of us [on the Two Ten board] were privy to the details around the recent transaction Wolverine pulled off. What really amazed me is how Blake was so engaged and didn’t miss a beat throughout that whole complicated and significant transaction.  Blake was very cool, calm and collected throughout the whole process, as always. If there’s anything anecdotal, it’s the authentic leadership he displays day in and day out, which is one of the reasons Wolverine is the successful organization it is today.”

Danny Schwartz
CEO, Schwartz & Benjamin

“To me, one of the most interesting things about joining and participating in [groups like FFANY and Two Ten] is the people I’ve met, like Blake. I never knew him before. He’s a wonderful, bright, interesting person. Blake was in charge of formulating the latest strategy plan for Two Ten and defining its future. It’s a tremendous amount of work to undertake, let alone while running a company like Wolverine.”

Joe Ouaknine
CEO, Titan Industries

“Blake is very intelligent, charismatic, very polite and, most importantly, a delight to deal with. I am well aware he had to fill some big shoes when he replaced Tim O’Donovan, and I am convinced he did. He is a great person.”

Matt Priest
President, Footwear Distributors & Retailers 
of America

“Blake is a strategic thinker with a clear vision for what will make Wolverine and the broader industry successful in the 21st century. He sees challenges as opportunities. As chairman of FDRA, he’s been key to our growth and expansion, thoughtfully guiding the association to accomplishing our goals and delivering value for our members. As Blake looks to the future, among other things, he wants to unsaddle our industry from the outdated policies of the past that hamper the ability of our industry to innovate and bring proper value to FDRA members’ customers. He has a keen understanding of the importance of engaging with key officials in Washington, D.C., to both learn and help guide the government to sensible policy decisions on behalf of the entire industry. Despite all his success and rising profile, Blake has remained down to earth and accessible to the entire FDRA team.”

Sam Poser
Analyst, Sterne Agee

“Blake has done a very good job. He recognizes talent well and he empowers his people. He is fair. He is approachable. He has a good vision for the company, and he is a very good CEO. They did an interesting thing buying [the Performance & Lifestyle Group from Collective Brands Inc.], but they’ve got to be careful how they handle it and what part they keep and how they want to attack it.”

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