Vans Names New Global Chief Marketing Officer
Vans said Tuesday it hired Drieke Leenknegt to serve as its global chief marketing officer.
Leenknegt, who officially joins Vans July 5, comes to the company from Timberland where she previously held the same title. The marketing executive is a veteran in the footwear industry, having also worked at Nike in Europe, China, and the U.S. in a number of roles, including global VP of influencer marketing and collaborations.
“I’ve long admired the purpose and conviction Vans has had through its marketing and creative efforts,” Leenknegt said in a statement. “I’ve watched Vans as a consumer, competitor, and colleague, and I’m honored to now contribute to its storied history, drive the brand forward, and lead the incredibly talented team at Vans.”
Vans and Timberland are owned by Denver-based VF Corp., which earlier this month tapped Logitech boss Bracken Darrell to be president and CEO. Darrell’s start date is July 17.
Timberland, one of VF’s larger brands by revenue, has more recently ramped up its efforts in the digital world under Leenknegt’s direction, with its entry into the metaverse via a deal with Fortnite developer Epic Games. That partnership has included the interactive experiences TimbsTrails and Timberland Parkour Trails.
Vans said it’s looking to Leenknegt’s hire to further drive brand momentum for new and existing consumers.
“As Drieke joins Vans, I am excited by what her leadership and in-depth experience will bring to our brand and how that will complement and reinforce our overarching business objectives,” said Vans Global Brand President Kevin Bailey. “Consumers know and love our brand, but it will be under Drieke’s purview as Global CMO that we’ll look to strengthen and deepen our connectivity with consumers everywhere to drive brand affinity.”
Leenknegt succeeds Kristin Harrer, the company’s first CMO, who parted ways with Vans earlier this year alongside the exits of former Vice President and General Manager of Vans Americas David Tichiaz, now brand president of Stance, and Vans Americas VP of Finance Michael LeFebvre.
Kari Hamanaka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.