Genesco has appointed Chris Santaella executive vice president and CMO of the Journeys Group, effective Feb. 5, 2024. Santaella replaces Pete Hicks who retired in October 2023. Santaella will report to Andy Gray, Journeys president.
An accomplished and diversified global merchant, Santaella will lead Journeys’ buying, merchandising, planning, and product strategies, building on Journeys foundation as a leader in teen fashion footwear retail and its brand mission of “an attitude you can wear” self-expression inspired by youth culture.
“Chris is an experienced industry veteran and brand strategist who brings a proven track record of leading global product teams,” states Mimi E. Vaughn, president and CEO of Genesco. “His exceptional brand leadership and strategic vision, coupled with his passion and commitment to youth culture, is the perfect fit to lead the talented Journeys buying and merchandising team as we continue our work to elevate and evolve the business for the future.”
Santaella joins Journeys from Foot Locker, where he served more than three decades in successive roles, most recently as senior vice president and CMO responsible for Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, and Champs Sports. He led a 125-person global product organization, which included divisional buying teams, global product development, and product strategy teams. In this role he developed and implemented global product strategies to drive and diversify Foot Locker’s business model, including successfully expanding its brand portfolio through a curated consumer focused approach.
“I look forward to partnering with Chris, with whom I’ve worked closely with for many years of my career,” states said Journeys Gray. “He’s a highly respected industry leader known for his collaborative management style and successful long-term brand relationships who will strongly complement our already outstanding team.” Gray adds, “Journeys is an iconic concept in teen fashion footwear, synonymous with many of the best global brands in the industry. Chris’ deep experience will help us build upon this solid foundation as we define the next chapter of Journeys’ growth.”
Chris Santaella, executive vice president and CMO, Journeys Group (Business Wire)