20VC: From a $1.1M Acquisition to $1.4BN in Revenues; The Meteoric Rise of Hoka Running with Deckers CEO, Dave Powers

Posted on 22nd December 2023 by Harry

Dave Powers serves as President and CEO of Deckers Brands, a global footwear and apparel company where he focuses on the company’s five high-performing brands: UGG®, Teva®, Sanuk®, HOKA One One® and Koolaburra®. Prior to Deckers, he held executive leadership roles at Converse and Timberland, where he led worldwide retail merchandising, marketing, visual and store design as well as the creation of a sustainable line of footwear and apparel.

In Today’s Episode with Dave Powers:

1. The Unlikely CEO of a Global Footwear Company:

  • How did Dave make his way into the world of consumer and fashion from the ground up?
  • Why did Dave never think he was the type of person to be a CEO?
  • What does Dave know now that he wishes he had known when he started his career?

2. From $1.1M Acquisition to $1.4BN Revenues: The Hoka Story:

  • Why did Deckers acquire Hoka for $1.1M? What did they see in this, at the time, futuristic running shoe that no one else saw?
  • Was the growth of Hoka linear or were there needle-moving moments that propelled the brand?
  • What did they do so right that led to their success?
  • What would Dave have done differently in the Hoka journey if he had his time again?

3. From $14.7BN Acquisition to Oprah’s Favourite: The UGG Journey:

  • How much of a needle mover was it for UGG when Oprah added it to her list of favourite items?
  • Why did UGG go through a tough period? What did they do wrong?
  • What does it take to resurrect a brand? How can they bring UGG back to life and make it cool?

4. From Abercrombie to LVMH: An Analysis of the Industry:

  • How does Dave analyse the rise and fall of Abercrombie and Hollister? Where did it go wrong?
  • What does Dave believe LVMH are the best in the world at? What does he learn from them?
  • How important is it for consumer companies to have a hero product?
  • How can consumer companies scale to mass markets without losing their core audience?

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