Inside the Industry

VF Corporationhas appointed Matt Puckett as its chief financial officer and executive vice president, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Steve Rendle. Puckett will also serve on the company’s executive leadership team. A 20-year veteran of the company, Puckett started with the Denver-headquartered VF as a senior accountant. Over the years, he has held CFO roles in different VF departments including its Sportswear Coalition, which included Nautica and Kipling, Timberland and VF International. In his new role, Puckett succeeds Scott Roe, who announced his retirement from VF effective at the end of May.

Zipper and fastener manufacturer YKKhas created a new research-and-development division called the Technology Innovation Center. This fresh approach to YKK’s business brings focus to industry-shifting technologies, innovative materials and new business. The Tokyo-headquartered brand is focusing on continuing to lead its business through a policy of “Sustainable Growth Under the New Normal.” By investing 2.5 billion yen ($23,030,437 USD), YKK will cultivate digitalization, customer collaboration through partnerships with digital platforms and its consumer-facing initiatives including the formation of a Digital Business Planning Department that will improve customer connections and business speed through digital technology. An additional 2.5 billion yen will be invested into sustainable initiatives such as developing eco-friendly products, solar power and energy-saving measures.

Workwear and lifestyle brand Duluth Holdings, Inc., announced the appointment of former Finish Line Chief Executive Officer Samuel M. Sato as its president and CEO. The appointment will be effective May 3, with Sato succeeding Mount Horeb, Wis.–based Duluth’s founder, Steve Schlecht, who had served as CEO since 2019. Reporting directly to the board of directors, Sato is also expected to become a board member on May 27, at which point Schlecht will assume the role of non-executive chairman of the board. “As the former CEO of publicly traded Finish Line before its merger with JD Sports, Sam has the demonstrated leadership, breadth of business experience and core values we believe are critical to lead our brand into the future,” Schlecht said. “We welcome Sam to lead our talented team. He has a track record of rolling up his sleeves and providing hands-on leadership—a quality that comes from a career dedicated to a team-first and customer-first mentality.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Divisionannounced the launch of its Essential Workers, Essential Protections resource. This new initiative was implemented to support workers by providing information regarding wage and hour laws that are in place to protect laborers. Currently, the Essential Workers, Essential Protection initiative provides a reworked WHD Workers’ Rights web page, blog resource, national webinar schedule and FAQ page to ensure that workers, advocates and employers are informed with answers to questions that address “pandemic-related scenarios.” The WHD will continue to enhance the resource by implementing multilingual materials. These will include public-service announcements over the radio, Facebook posts and media to be displayed in different neighborhoods. Additional information can be found