US footwear firm Wolverine World Wide has announced a series of organisational changes, including the creation of a new international group to drive growth outside the US.

The newly created group will be led by Bill Brown, a 24-year veteran of the company, Wolverine said.

Wolverine, which owns brands including Merrell and Hush Puppies, said Brown will become president of the new unit.

In addition, the company also announced it will reorganise its portfolio into three branded wholesale operating groups - outdoor, heritage and lifestyle.

The Outdoor Group will comprise of Merrell, Chaco and Patagonia Footwear brands and be led by Jim Zwiers; The Heritage Group, comprised of the Wolverine, Caterpillar Footwear, Bates, Harley-Davidson Footwear and HyTest brands, led by Ted Gedra; and The Lifestyle Group, comprised of the Hush Puppies, Cushe and Sebago brands, led by Mark Neal.

Blake W Krueger, chairman and CEO of the company, said: "The organisational realignment announced today represents a significant step forward for the company.

"The timing is right to capitalise on the exceptional momentum of our portfolio of brands, and we believe this new international structure will give us the flexibility and focus to accelerate the performance of our brands around the world. 

"We are pleased that we have the talent within our organisation to support this business evolution and look forward to continued global growth and success for our brands."

Wolverine added that reporting to Brown as the new MD of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) will be Onder Ors, who was most recently senior vice president, international for the outdoor group.

Also reporting to Brown will be Baffin Yip as VP of Greater China, Sanjay Mehra as VP of India, Sean Carney as VP of international for the Heritage Group, Bill Mirecki as VP of international for the Lifestyle Group, Linda Brunzell as VP international for the Outdoor Group and John MacLeod as VP of Finance and Special Projects for the International Group.