Crocs CEO Andrew Rees, sporting the new Crocs sneakers in casual dress attire, reflected the company's push to expand beyond its traditional clog style as he shared business insights in a fireside …
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Crocs CEO Andrew Rees, sporting the new Crocs sneakers in casual dress attire, reflected the company's push to expand beyond its traditional clog style as he shared business insights in a fireside chat at the University of Colorado South Denver campus.
“We have to really capture the opportunities that are in front of us,” Rees told a room of MBA students and other interested listeners on Nov. 29 at the Lone Tree campus.
Rees' visit launched the CU campus' Journey to the Top series, which brings leading executives from major local companies to share personal stories from their experience. The seminars are free and open to the public. Future speakers include heads of Davita, a dialysis healthcare company, and Johns Manville, an insulation and roofing manufacturer.
Scot Chadwick, vice chancellor of enterprise development for CU South Denver, said this will be “an invaluable opportunity for professionals across the Denver metro area to further their own professional development and garner hands-on insights and learnings from a chief executive officer’s journey.”
Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet moderated the interview with Rees, asking a variety of questions about his personal life and advice for succeeding in upper management of a major retailer. American Warehouse owner Jake Jabs gave an opening speech touting the campus, calling it an “incubator for entrepreneurs.”
Millet opened the discussion by joking she believed more than 75 percent of Lone Tree residents owned a pair of Crocs.
“I think there is a lot of brand loyalty in Colorado,” Millet said on a more serious note.
The seminar marked the first time Rees has spoken in Colorado, the original home to the innovative shoe company. Crocs unveiled its original shoe in 2002.The company was founded by Scott Seamans, Lyndon Hanson and George Boedecker in Niwot, just northeast of Boulder, which remains its headquarters.
Rees addressed the company's beginnings and compared it to where the company is today, offering a wider variety of products, including sneakers and sandals as well as its traditional clog style.
In August, the company announced the closure of two manufacturing facilities in Mexico and Italy in an effort to enhance profit revenues. Former CEO Gregg Ribatt stepped down June 1, 2017, when Rees took the helm as president and CEO.
Following Rees' talk, audience members asked questions about the intricacies of the business, including how the company brought on sponsors like rapper Post Malone — an avid Crocs fan who posted a photo on his Instagram account wearing a pair of white clogs. Rees announced the company will be offering a second wave of the rapper's special-edition shoes before Christmas.
“If you're smart, you work hard and you can communicate, you can get hired,” Rees advised.
Making quick, deliberate decisions and listening, he added, are other key traits to succeeding in high-level executive positions.
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