VF Corporation today (11 September) named Dan Cherian as vice president, global innovation, performance apparel and footwear - a newly created role to lead the company's innovation centres.

Cherian joins the company from Nike Inc, where he was general manager of Nike's Sustainable Business Lab. He has also worked for Pfizer Inc. and the Boston Consulting Group.

In his new role he will oversee VF's Global Performance Apparel and Footwear Innovation Centers, where the company focuses on developing game-changing advancements in apparel, footwear and accessories for its 30-plus brands, including The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Wrangler, Lee and Nautica.

Cherian will set global innovation strategies, shape and manage the global product innovation portfolio, and lead all supporting activities taking place at VF's Performance Apparel Innovation Center in Alameda, California, and Footwear Innovation Center in Stratham, New Hampshire.

"Our goal is to shape the future of apparel and footwear," said Steve Rendle, VF senior vice president, Americas. "VF has emphasised the importance of product innovation as a key growth driver for our company. Adding Dan to our team to lead our performance apparel and footwear initiatives further demonstrates our commitment to creating breakthrough, must-have products for consumers."

VF introduced its Innovation Center strategy in 2013 and began to elevate innovation initiatives with existing teams to support key projects.

Now, under Cherian's leadership, the company says it will assemble teams of chemists, scientists, engineers and designers for the Performance Apparel and Footwear Innovation Centers who will combine their expertise in technology and new materials with VF's proprietary insights and understanding of consumer needs.

VF believes the knowledge acquired throughout its three centres, and the resulting innovations, will help to drive greater brand equity and value, and achieve long-term growth for its portfolio of brands.

VF's third Innovation Center is dedicated to jeanswear and is near the company's world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina.