CEO Paul Grangaard Passes the Baton

Paul Grangaard

Malcolm Robinson

Greetings Friends of Allen Edmonds –

Last week, our parent company’s CEO Diane Sullivan announced the arrival of Malcolm Robinson to fill a newly created position as President of the Men’s and International Division. This Division includes, of course, Allen Edmonds. As Diane outlined in her announcement, Malcolm comes to us with 30 years of terrific experience in building brands in the fashion industry. I’ve had the chance to spend time with him already and he has really impressed me with his knowledge and insights into Allen Edmonds’ unique place in the men’s fashion world. He’s also an excellent fit for our special culture at AE. I’m excited that he’ll be taking over leadership of our great company as we build on our existing momentum into the future, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Those of you who know me (or have seen my posts in the web communities) are aware that I have many interests and a strong commitment to my family. I also like to think that I’m an entrepreneurial leader. When I came to Allen Edmonds as “Interim CEO” in 2008, I never imagined that I’d be here for 9 years, commuting between two homes with many nights in hotels and sacrificing much of my social life and not-for-profit interests. I wouldn’t trade that time with you and AE for anything. I’m exceedingly proud of the Allen Edmonds team and all that they have accomplished together in sustaining and extending the company since the difficult “Great Recession” that began with the financial crisis of 2008. I know that the entire Caleres family greatly values both the brand and the Allen Edmonds people as well.

After the acquisition last December, I committed to make sure the transition went well and that AE was secure. I’m pleased to say that it is now. And so my diverse interests and desire to be home more often are calling to me, and I’m going to "graduate" from Allen Edmonds. After playing some extra golf before winter, I hope to do something for work that’s completely new – perhaps more music production, maybe some teaching, maybe start a business – before I truly retire, and I want to be a much less valuable customer of Delta Airlines. I’ll still be around for a while longer, though. With AE’s future in Malcolm’s good hands, I’m now assuming an Advisor role in order to help him and our team continue to build Allen Edmonds.

So, it’s not good-bye, just see you around.

Best Wishes,

~ Paul Grangaard