Vernachio, who has been serving as the COO since June 2021, will succeed co-founder Joey Zwillinger, who will transition to a role on the board of directors and continue as a special advisor to Allbirds.

Vernachio’s new role, effective 15 March, will oversee all operations and continue developing Allbird’s strategic transformation plan.

The appointment comes after an increase in responsibilities in 2023 to include oversight of commercial and international functions in addition to operations.

Vernachio had most recently assumed full control over development and been instrumental in reducing inventory, transitioning to a distributor model in international markets and optimising Allbirds’ US distribution.

Allbirds newly appointed CEO has extensive experience in the retail industry, coupled with a proven track record in brand-building. Vernachio previously held the position of president at Mountain Hardwear, Inc. for four years, where he orchestrated a successful turnaround in guiding the brand from declining sales to robust profitability.

Before his tenure at Allbirds, Vernachio also served as vice president of global products at The North Face, a subsidiary of VF Corporation. Vernachio has also held various roles at global brands including Patagonia, Nike, Roots, Spyder and Calvin Klein.

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Commenting on his appointment, Vernachio said: “I have a deep appreciation for what it takes to build brand equity, restore growth and drive scale. Allbirds has all the makings of an enduring, iconic brand – lifestyle positioning, meaningful purpose and sustainability, and great value.”

Reflecting on the transition, outgoing CEO Zwillinger expressed confidence in Vernachio’s capabilities and said: “We turned to Joe to take on an expanded leadership role, increasing his responsibilities this past year and leveraging his capabilities as we developed our strategic transformation plan. Joe’s expertise has been particularly meaningful as we’ve worked to align our ethos with operational and financial execution.”

Acknowledging Zwillinger’s contributions, Dick Boyce, lead independent director added: “We are delighted that Joe is taking the reins as we strive to maximise long-term shareholder value. He brings a powerful combination of continuity, business prowess, and deep industry experience to the role from his nearly four-decade, storied career managing a variety of leading brands. We are confident that he is perfectly suited to lead Allbirds through its next phase and well into the future.”

This is the second time in less than 12 months that Allbirds has made changes to its CEO team. In May 2023, Zwillinger’s co-CEO Tim Brown announced he would be transitioning to chief innovation officer as Allbirds made changes following a 13.4% decline in Q1 revenues.