Longtime Genesco and Journeys Exec Mario Gallione to Retire Next Year

Genesco Inc. announced late on Wednesday that Journeys Group president Mario Gallione will retire at the end of the company’s fiscal year in Feb. 2024.

According to Genesco, it has initiated a broad search process to identify Gallione’s successor with the assistance of executive leadership firm Egon Zehnder, and expects to consider both internal and external candidates.

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During the transition, Gallione will become Journeys’ president emeritus.

In addition, Mike Sypert has been named Journeys’ COO responsible for aiding the transition of leadership as well as assuming day-to-day responsibilities for Journeys, Journeys Kidz and Little Burgundy’s business, including stores and websites in the U.S. and Canada.

Gallione, who has worked with Genesco for 44 years, was named president of Journeys in Sept. 2017, after serving as chief merchandising officer of the Journeys Group since 2010. He was appointed SVP of Genesco in June 2019.

“[Mario] has been part of the team since the beginning and has been instrumental in building Journeys into the leading teen fashion footwear retailer,” Mimi Vaughn, president, CEO and board chair at Genesco, said in a statement. “Mario’s merchant leadership and exceptional footwear expertise have been a significant part of Journeys’ long-term growth, record success and value creation.”

Vaughn added that Gallione’s “distinct desire” to develop a world class organization with a strong foundation of culture and talent will “define his legacy.”

“He has been a respected member of our leadership team, and we will wish him the very best in a well-deserved retirement,” the CEO continued. “I am confident that as a result of his work and the strong team in place, Journeys is well positioned for tremendous success in the years ahead.”

Gallione began his career with the company in the Chicago area serving as a part-time Jarman sales associate in 1977 when he was a junior in high school. He was then promoted to manager and served in a variety of field sales management positions until 1987. At that time, Gallione was promoted to the corporate offices and became a merchandiser trainee for Jarman/Flagg under the company’s U.S. Retail division. Over the next few years, he rose through the ranks being named the divisional merchandise manager for Journeys in 1994, assuming the additional title of vice president in 1998. In October 2006, he was named SVP, GMM of the Journeys Group.

Gallione added in a statement that it “has been an honor” to work with the extraordinary team at Journeys and Genesco.

“As I look back, especially over the past six years as president, I am incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished including successfully expanding our digital transformation enabling us to serve our customers with the right products in the ways our teens want to shop, as well as successfully managing through an unprecedented pandemic,” Gallione said. “Our outstanding people have created the industry-leading teen footwear retail brand that is now serving its fourth generation. I am excited to help execute a seamless transition and see how this team takes Journeys to the next level.”

Genesco is expected to report its second quarter earnings on Thursday.

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