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01/11/2022

Nike veteran to head up The North Face

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Nicole Otto
Nicole Otto has been appointed the next global brand president of The North Face.

A 16-year Nike veteran is joining VF Corp.

VF, parent company of The North Face, Timberland, Vans and Dickies, has appointed Nicole Otto as global brand president, The North Face. She will succeed Steve Murray, who is retiring and returning to the U.K. The leadership transition will be effective in June

Otto joins VF following a 16-year career at Nike. She most recently served as VP of Nike Direct North America from 2018 through May 2021. In the role, she oversaw Nike’s digital experiences and full fleet of inline and factory stores throughout the North America region.

Otto was responsible for integrating the company’s physical and digital retail ecosystem to deliver online-to-offline services and experiences that forge deep connections with consumers. Under her leadership, Nike launched new flagship and Nike Live experiences in New York City and Los Angeles and started its expansion of owned retail across the U.S.

Before joining Nike’s North America team, Otto held several regional and global leadership roles within the company’s digital business.

“Nicole is the right leader who brings the right capabilities to The North Facebrand at the right time,” said Steve Rendle, VF Corp.’s chairman, CEO and president. “Her global industry experience and deep understanding of consumer engagement strategies – through both physical retail and digital commerce – make her ideally suited to take the helm of this iconic brand and accelerate growth through even more compelling direct connections with consumers worldwide.”

Otto’s appointment is part of VF’s succession plan in response to Murray’s planned retirement this year. He was appointed global brand president of The North Face in September 2020. Earlier he served as executive vice president and group president for VF’s Americas region and previously was president of VF’s Action Sports Coalition and Global Brand President of Vans.

“We appointed Steve to lead The North Face brand knowing that his retirement was on the horizon but also recognizing that we could leverage his incredible 30-plus years of industry experience to strengthen the brand’s proposition with consumers,” said Rendle. “Steve will leave The North Face brand in an incredibly strong position for Nicole to build on as she advances our direct-to-consumer and digital transformation.”