Welcome to Kontoor Brands: A New Era for the Wrangler® and Lee® brands

By: Scott Baxter, President & CEO, Kontoor Brands May 23, 2019 Feature Story

Editor’s note: The following post was shared by Scott Baxter, CEO & President of Kontoor Brands, on Linkedin earlier today. Follow Kontoor Brands on LinkedIn and Twitter for official company news and updates. 

Today is a historic day.

Some of the world’s most iconic denim brands, Wrangler® and Lee®, are now part of our new, publicly traded company: Kontoor Brands, Inc. With our separation from VF Corporation now complete, Kontoor Brands begins an exciting new journey as a global lifestyle apparel company.

Words can’t fully describe what an honor it is for me to be the first-ever President and CEO of our new company, built on more than 100 years of history and measurable success. To launch this company with our 15,000 global associates is a privilege. 

This is a unique opportunity that most businesses and leaders will never experience. Kontoor Brands enters the public arena with the benefit of established, global brands, long-standing partnerships with leading global retailers and deep brand loyalty with millions of consumers around the world. These attributes put us in an enviable position, giving us the foundation and permission to build, grow and thrive.

With this opportunity also comes a great sense of responsibility to our loyal consumers, employees, customers and investors. I make this commitment to each of them: Expect excellence from us in everything we do.

We have a passion to win, but we will not compromise our corporate and social values to do so. We will always strive to do the right thing, even when it is hard. We will set ambitious goals, and we will consistently deliver success.

As the new leader of Kontoor Brands, I feel a huge sense of purpose, eagerness and anticipation for what’s ahead. I am optimistic for our future and have tremendous confidence in our employees around the world. We are aligned with a clear, strategic focus that has been developed during the past several months. With that strong foundation in place, there is no better time than now to start our journey as one, independent, publicly traded company, under the name Kontoor Brands. Our business home will extend to the New York Stock Exchange, where we will proudly trade under the stock ticker KTB.

As we grow our new company, our key areas of focus will include aggressively growing our direct-to-consumer distribution and further expanding our global footprint. We will work to deliver consistent and reliable shareholder returns through great execution and an efficient operating model. We are laser-focused on delivering in these key areas, and that’s what you’ll see us striving to do in the months and years ahead.

In many ways, serving as CEO of Kontoor Brands is like coming back home. Earlier in my career, I had the privilege of leading VF’s Jeanswear business. Knowing our past and understanding where we’re headed, I couldn’t be more confident in our strategy. Kontoor Brands is well positioned for future success as a standalone organization.

It’s essential that I thank the global Kontoor Brands team and our colleagues at VF for everything they have done to get us to this point.

We have an incredible opportunity ahead of us. We are ready to get started!