R.M. Williams has announced that Chris Willingham will join its senior ranks as chief marketing officer.
The marketing executive brings 25 years of international brand experience to the South Australian boot maker, which last year was acquired by Andrew 'Twiggy' Forest's investment company, Tattarang.
Prior to joining R.M. Williams, Willingham most recently served as MD of advertising firm DDB New Zealand.
He also brings experience from other advertising agencies including; Wieden + Kennedy where he worked on Nike campaigns for the 2016 Olympics and 2018 World Cup; and, Fallon in London, where as managing partner, he led the delivery of internationally renowned campaigns such as Cadbury 'Gorilla'.
He has also led BBDO’s Singaporean hub and has served seven years at TBWA London.
Speaking on his appointment, Willingham said that he couldn't turn down the opportunity to lead the brand.
"I’m incredibly excited to be given stewardship of such a famous, culturally important brand.
"I bought my first pair of craftsman boots when I travelled through Sydney during the 90s and fell in love with R.M. Williams there and then.
"This is a unique, once-in-a-career opportunity and it’ll be an absolute privilege to work together with the R.M. Williams team to lead the brand through the next stage of its evolution," he said.
Following its acquisition in 2020 - which saw the brand return to Australian ownership - R.M. Williams is focusing on growing its digital channels and international markets.
The brand is already sold in more than 15 countries across 74 stores and 784 stockists.
Tattarang chief investment officer John Hartman welcomed the appointment and said Willingham’s role will be critical in accelerating the brand’s new growth strategies.
Willingham's appointment follows the unveiling of the label's new look in May, which, according to the business, "celebrates the brand through a new lens, with a visual aesthetic that is more specific, relevant and artistically-focused."