Sole Tech names new COO
Sole Technology is announcing this morning that Diem Culley is the company’s new Chief Operating Officer.
Diem (pronounced Yem) has worked for Sole Tech for six years in a variety of positions and succeeded in each one, Founder and CEO Pierre André Senizergues told me.
She is replacing an Interim COO that Pierre brought in from the outside that helped bring some changes to the company. The Interim COO has left Sole Tech.
“I’m happy for Sole Tech, and I’m happy for her,” Pierre said. “Also for the industry I think it’s good that we keep promoting from inside and see good people flourishing.”
Diem joined Sole Tech as VP of Apparel, then became SVP of Footwear and Apparel. Next, she was GM of U.S. Operations.
He also likes that she has a product and retail background.
Before coming to Sole Tech, she worked at the La Jolla Group, and before that, at PacSun. Her career started in the training program at May Department Stores.
Pierre said Diem makes decisions quickly, is a leader who can get a team moving in the same direction, and has gained a lot of respect inside Sole Tech.
“She’s fast, and I want our company to be faster,” he said. “And her credibility internally will allow us to accelerate.”
Diem led the charge to bring two key footwear styles, the Etnies Marana and the Emerica G6, to market eight months faster than originally planned. Sole Tech sped up the timeline after seeing photos of the new styles that were being tested by athletes uploaded to social media sites by fans that wanted the shoes.
“Bringing them to the market that much faster is not an easy thing to do from an operational standpoint,” he said.
Reporting to Diem will be product teams, brand teams, and the rest of the operation except finance, which reports directly to Pierre.
Diem has an interesting life story. Her family fled Vietnam when she was 6. They went from being very wealthy in Vietnam to being poor refugees in the U.S. surviving on government aid.
She told Shop-eat-surf in a Core Career profile that that experience had a major impact on her life. At a young age, she knew education was her way out of poverty. (I highly recommend reading her Core Career profile – her story is inspiring and interesting.)
Diem is quite petite, but don’t let that fool you, Pierre said.
“She’s small, but mighty,” he said. “The guys better watch out.”