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Allbirds Hires Former Nike Executive Ann Freeman (FKA Ann Hebert) To Its Board Of Directors

Ann Hebert's Controversial Past

For over 25 years, Ann Hebert (now going by Ann Freeman) climbed the corporate ladder at Nike and reached what many would consider the top rung, a cushy position as VP and GM of Nike’s North America division. It all came crashing down once her son, Joe, took part in an interview with Bloomberg, in which he mistakenly disclosed his connection to one of Nike’s most powerful employees - his mother. Although Ann disclosed to Nike her connection to Joe’s “West Coast Streetwear” business in 2018 (with a Nike spokesperson even commenting that “there was no violation of company policy, privileged information, or conflicts of interest.”), once the news became public, The Swoosh announced her resignation. With a year and change behind this event, it seems the footwear industry is still accepting of Ann as it was just announced by the San Francisco-based brand Allbirds that she will be joining the company’s Board of Directors.

Allbirds Strategy Hiring The Former Nike Executive

Although the aforementioned scandal with Nike ripped apart her reputation in the public eye, her work on the business side of things was remarkable as she gained experience in just about every part of the business at Nike, from brand management to marketplace development. Allbirds Co-Founder and Co-CEO Joey Zwillinger stated in the press release for this announcement, “We are thrilled and honored to add Ann to our board of directors. Ann brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership to this role, and we believe her strong track record of leading diverse teams and solving complex problems within the world’s largest footwear company will be a tremendous benefit to our company as we continue to scale and gain momentum with consumers around the world.”

Allbirds as a brand has been making waves in the general market with its naturally derived footwear and apparel. It seems Ann is elated with her new position within the sustainability-focused brand, stating “I am delighted to join Joey, Tim, and the Allbirds Board at such an exciting moment as consumers worldwide are seeking a no compromise approach to footwear and apparel focused on style, comfort, and sustainability. Ann went on to say that she is “truly inspired by Allbirds’s bold mission of creating better things in a better way and focus on delivering Super Natural Comfort to their customers."

The future is looking bright for the emerging brand as revenue grew by over 21% in Q2 2022 compared to the prior year. That, paired with new physical retail locations opening up, a recent collaboration with adidas, and this recent addition of a footwear veteran like Ann to their team appear to be positive signs in the right direction. With all of this in mind, things should continue to go up from here for Allbirds. For more updates on the latest happenings in the sneaker and streetwear world, keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app.

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