New Zealand children’s footwear brand Bobux has appointed Monica Yianakis, ex Lion, as the company’s new CEO this month.
Bobux Board of Directors Chairperson Paul Connell says the company is thrilled to have Monica take Bobux into its next phase of life.
“Monica’s extensive consumer goods and retail experience, combined with strategic leadership and brand expertise, will amplify our track record of global growth,” he says.
Bobux began 30 years ago in an Auckland garage after its founders wanted to make comfortable, stylish shoes that were good for their children’s feet. It’s now an omnichannel global business in 43 markets around the world, including US, UK and Europe.
Connell says he believes Monica will help elevate the company into a major international brand, to become known as one of the world’s leading children’s shoe companies.
“We’re excited to see Monica’s technology-focused, futurist mindset in action within the Bobux operation,” he says.
Yianakis comes to Bobux from Lion (a Kirin subsidiary) where she held multiple leadership roles, most recently as Strategic Innovation Director and Retail Director where she led a staff of 200 employees. Prior to Lion, Yianakis held senior roles at Frucor, Nestle and Danone.
Yianakis says she was enticed by the challenge of developing Bobux into a family household name, worldwide.
“The potential for these revolutionary shoes is huge, while they’re already being worn from New Zealand to Germany, there’s so many more little feet who can make their childhood journeys in Bobux shoes,” she says.
Since 2019, Bobux has experienced double-digit global growth and is a finalist in the 2021 [New Zealand] Westpac Business Awards for both Excellence in International Trade and Employer of the Year. Yianakis takes over from Acting CEO Matt Smith (currently CFO) who stepped in when Andrew Sharp departed in June 2021.