Vans Names New President and Chief Operating Officer

Christopher G. Staff has been selected as president and chief operating officer at Vans Inc., the tennis shoe manufacturer said Monday.

Staff, 52, who has been president and chief executive of the Speedo and Action Sports divisions of Van Nuys-based Authentic Fitness Corp. since 1990, will join Vans on Sept. 16 at its headquarters in Orange. Staff succeeds Vans Vice Chairman Walter E. Schoenfeld, 63, who became president on an interim basis in April, 1993.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Aug. 24, 1994 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday August 24, 1994 Home Edition Business Part D Page 2 Column 6 Financial Desk 2 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
Vans Inc.--Christopher G. Staff, formerly president and chief operating officer of the Speedo and Action Sports divisions of Authentic Fitness Corp. in Van Nuys, is joining Vans Inc. in Orange as president and chief executive. An article Tuesday misstated his titles.

Shoe industry analysts said the appointment is in keeping with Vans’ effort to restore revenue and profitability. “I’m not comfortable saying that Vans is all the way back, but they’re clearly making changes and they’re on track with the schedule (Schoenfeld) set last year,” said Seth Feinstein, a Los Angeles-based analyst with Crowell, Weedon & Co.

Vans shares rose 25 cents Monday to $5.50 in Nasdaq trading. The stock had traded as high as $13 in 1993.


Vans, a familiar footwear name among Southern Californians, has struggled in recent years to reverse a slowdown in domestic and international sales. The company’s revenue was hurt in recent years by the economic slowdown in Southern California, where the company operates 78 stores.