Heidi Cooley remembers her very first Crocs: a bright-yellow pair she got in 2007 around the time the hole-filled shoes first gained traction. She also remembers how people reacted nearly a decade later, when in 2016 she told everyone her plans to join the company’s marketing department.
“I got a lot of phone calls from colleagues and mentors and friends that were, like, ‘Heidi, this is career suicide. Do not think you can transform this brand,’” says Cooley, who became senior vice president and chief marketing officer last year. “But I was always attracted to the underdog story and the opportunity to build a consumer-centric marketing organization pretty much from the ground up.”