Apr 21, 2021
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Kontoor Brands appoints Karen Smith as EVP of global supply chain

Apr 21, 2021

Kontoor Brands, Inc., the Greensboro, North Carolina-based owner of the Wrangler and Lee brands, announced on Tuesday that it has named Karen Smith as EVP of supply chain, effective May 1, 2021.

Smith succeeds Randy Fortenberry - Instagram: @leejeans

In her new role, Smith will be responsible for all aspects of supply chain management at the company, including global operations, planning, global manufacturing and sourcing, responsible sourcing, product quality and stewardship, customer service, distribution and logistics, and master data governance. In addition, she will oversee Kontoor’s supply chain strategy, including trade-related functions and operations.  
Smith, who also serves as the North America Inclusion & Diversity Council chair, will be joining Kontoor’s executive leadership team and report to company CEO Scott Baxter.

Smith currently serves as VP of global supply chain operations, a role which she has held since 2019, when Kontoor was spun off from VF Corporation. Prior to this, she served in a range of different positions at VF, including VP of supply chain for jeanswear, imagewear, sportswear and Timberland, and VP of global supply chain operations for Timberland.
Before joining VF, Smith spent nine years at Jockey International, ultimately serving as VP for operations.
“Karen brings extensive experience across all aspects of responsible and efficient supply chain management,” said Baxter in a release. “More importantly, she’s a proven leader with a talent for building and motivating teams along with a deep commitment to Kontoor’s culture. She’s a perfect fit for this critical role.”
Smith succeeds Randy Fortenberry, who will be retiring at the end of April after over 30 years working in supply chain at VF and Kontoor.
Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kontoor’s annual revenues fell 18% to $2.1 billion in 2020, compared to $2.5 billion in 2019. Full-year net income at the company was $67.9 million, down 30% from $96.7 million in 2019.

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