- Annie Mitchell, 46, will be replacing Mike Bufano at the financial helm of Allbirds, a San Francisco, Calif.-based sneaker brand, effective Apr. 24, the company announced Thursday.
- Bufano — who joined Allbirds in January 2021 — informed the company on Wednesday of his intention to resign from his role. He will remain with the company through a transition period, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- The new CFO is coming on board as Allbirds is seeking to rebound from a lackluster 2022. “We know we disappointed in 2022 — we are taking decisive action to drive change and improve performance,” according to March 9 investor presentation materials.
Allbirds also made some changes to strategy along with the leadership changes. The plan includes pausing store openings — one of the pillars of the growth strategy it pitched to investors during its initial public offering process.
“The year came to a challenging close, with results below our expectations due to both execution and macro challenges. We need to improve performance, and are announcing a new transformation plan to reinvigorate the business with an emphasis on profitable growth,” said Joey Zwillinger, co-founder and co-CEO during the Thursday earnings call.
The plan includes four key focus areas: reigniting product and brand, optimizing U.S. stores and slow pace of openings, evaluating transition of go to market strategy and improving cost savings and capital efficiency, according to an SEC filing.
Mitchell comes to the financial helm of the Silicon Valley popular shoe brand from another lifestyle brand. She was vice president of finance and insights for the fitness apparels and accessories brand Gymshark beginning in June of 2021, and also worked for Adidas in roles that included senior director of finance and then senior vice president of finance/ CFO, North America, according to her LinkedIn profile.
The newly minted finance chief is set to receive an annual base salary of $375,000 and will be eligible to receive an annual performance bonus with a target of 40%. She also received a signing bonus of $12,000, according to the filing.
“Annie’s skills and leadership capabilities are an outstanding fit as we embark on our strategic transformation to reignite growth and drive profitability,” said Zwillinger in a statement.
Allbirds was part of a direct-to-consumer surge, which sold product via the internet instead of through established outlets.
Once appearing unstoppable — with a seemingly wide breadth of customers, low overhead and no middlemen — companies like Allbirds, Warby Parker and Stitchfix are crashing hard and fast, CNBC previously reported.
Stitchfix, the apparel box e-retailer, also announced a CFO transition plan this week with Dan Jedda announcing he would be leaving the company as they failed to stem declines in the most recent quarter, sister publication Retail Dive reported. Now, the direct-to-consumer brand is looking at its own veterans to take the financial helm, with David Aufderhaar, senior vice president of finance, taking the helm as Jedda’s successor.