May 27, 2011, 3:46 PM

A new CEO takes over at parent Brown Shoe

Diane Sullivan had been the shoe manufacturer’s chief operating officer and president.

Lead Photo

Diane Sullivan

Brown Shoe Co. Inc. said this week that Diane M. Sullivan has taken over as president and CEO. She had previously worked as president and chief operating officer.

Brown Shoe is the parent of Inc., No. 137 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Sullivan takes over from Ronald Fromm, who remains Brown Shoe's chairman. Sullivan joined Brown Shoe as president in 2004, and became chief operating officer in 2006. The following year, she was elected to the shoe manufacturer’s board. Brown Shoe says Sullivan developed the company’s brand strategy, guided the $145 million acquisition of American Sporting Goods and had a major hand in building Brown’s global sourcing network.

Prior to Brown, she was vice chairman of the footwear group for Phillips-Van Heusen, a job she held from 2001 to 2004.

"In my first few months I am prioritizing the identification of opportunities to strengthen the alignment of our businesses with our key consumer focus areas of healthy living, contemporary fashion and family,” Sullivan says. “I'm committed to building on our great foundation to further the momentum of the past year as we inspire people to feel good and live better, feet first.”

In March, Brown Shoe reported that e-commerce sales in 2010 for all its brands, including and, increased 21% year over year to about $120 million from about $99.2 million.

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