Collective Brands has named LuAnn Via, most recently group divisional president of Charming Shoppes' Lane Bryant and Cacique retail chains, as president and chief executive officer of its footwear chain Payless ShoeSource.

She will report to Matthew Rubel, chairman and chief executive officer of Collective Brands.

Via succeeds Rubel as the leader of the Payless business unit, who has served in the role since joining the company in June 2005.

Rubel has expanded his role following last year's acquisition of Collective Licensing International and The Stride Rite Corporation, which together with Payless ShoeSource formed Collective Brands.

Via will begin at Payless later this month and be responsible for leading all day-to-day operations of the retail unit, including merchandising, marketing and retail operations for the more than 4,500 store chain, which includes stores in the US, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

"We are thrilled to have LuAnn join our executive team in the critical role as president and CEO of Payless ShoeSource -- the largest business unit in our company," said Rubel. "She has a strong background in trend merchandising, especially in footwear and accessories.

"LuAnn is a well grounded and seasoned retail executive who has proven success as a leader of both large department stores and specialty chains. We look forward to her valuable contributions to the Payless team to continue our path and strategy to democratise fashion in footwear and accessories and build a House of Brands retailer well known for inspiring fun fashion possibilities for the family."

Prior to being group divisional president of Charming Shoppes' Lane Bryant and Cacique chains, from January 2006 to June 2007 Via served as president of Charming Shoppes' Catherine Stores. She also worked at Sears, Roebuck and Company from 2003 to 2006, serving as vice president and general merchandising manager for the retailer's footwear, accessories, fine jewellery and intimate apparel business.