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Tony Post, the longtime head of Vibram USA Inc. and a driving force behind the company’s launch into footwear with FiveFingers, will step down, effective July 7.
In an announcement made Tuesday, the company said Post will be succeeded by current COO Mike Gionfriddo, who will become president and CEO of Concord, Mass.-based Vibram USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Italy-based Vibram SpA.
Known for its proprietary rubber outsoles, Vibram’s business grew fiftyfold during Post’s 11 years with the company, according to a statement. A major growth driver has been the FiveFingers product, which Vibram launched in 2006. In 2010, the line was named one of Footwear News’ brands of the year, with 1.4 million pairs shipped that year.
“I’ve really enjoyed working for Vibram and leading such a dedicated and hardworking team, and I’m so proud of all we accomplished over the last 11 years,” Post said in a release. “I am deeply grateful to the entire Vibram organization and to the retailers and customers throughout North America who have supported our brand and helped Vibram develop and broaden the category of minimalist footwear. We could not have experienced such growth, or received such broad recognition as an industry pioneer, without belief from our staff, retailers and the dedicated advocates of the brand.”
Added Gionfriddo, “Tony not only expanded and invigorated the Vibram sole business but he also — at a time when few believed in Vibram FiveFingers for fitness and running — articulated a vision, created belief and empowered a team to build a successful industry-changing business and category. We will all miss his leadership, insight and support.”
Post has yet to confirm his next step.