US footwear retailer Genesco has announced that Robert J Dennis will take over as chief executive at the company from 1 August.

Current Genesco chairman and chief executive officer Hal N Pennington will continue as executive chairman of the company.

Dennis was named president and chief operating officer of Genesco in October 2006, after a year as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

"Bob's assumption of the CEO role is a further step forward in our internal succession plan that began with his appointment as chief operating officer in 2005," said Pennington.

"The board's agreement with my recommendation to move ahead with the succession plan reflects our confidence that Genesco is well-positioned to continue the transition process at this time and that Bob is the right person to lead the company through the next phase of its strategic development."

Dennis had previously served as CEO of Hat World Corporation since 2001 before Genesco's acquisition it in 2004, and he was named a senior vice president of Genesco.

He said: "Since becoming a part of the Genesco management team four years ago, I have grown to appreciate the company's heritage, and have been impressed with the strategic strength of its businesses, its great potential as a platform for growth, and the tremendous talent and commitment of my fellow employees.

"I look forward to continuing to work with Hal and the rest of the management team to make the most of that strength and talent. I am honoured and excited to lead this company at this time."