As president and CEO of Vibram USA since 2001, Tony Post has led initiatives to invigorate and transform the Vibram brand and company. First, he expanded the Vibram outsole business beyond its traditional markets of mountaineering, hiking and climbing, into new segments of snowboarding, mountain biking and trail running.
In 2004 he re-launched Vibram EcoStep, a recycled rubber compound developed for casual use, made from 50 percent recycled scrap. In 2006, with the launch of Vibram FiveFingers, Tony extended Vibram USA into the finished footwear business as the leader of what would eventually be a burgeoning natural footwear market.
Vibram FiveFingers was created by Vibram Italy in 2005. A single slip-on style, the product was initially conceived as uniquely innovative, casual footwear. But Post saw something else, and positioned FiveFingers as a performance product, ideal for fitness training and running, because it allowed the foot and body to work in a more natural manner.
As a lifelong runner and fitness enthusiast, Post quickly recognized the potential health and performance benefits of training in Vibram FiveFingers. They allowed his feet to move and work more naturally, react more to the environment, and they encouraged him to run differently, relieving the recent knee pain he had been suffering. Over the next few years, Post led the product development team to create styles that catered to these markets; he then developed a strong viral marketing campaign to spread the idea through targeted groups. Today, the Vibram FiveFingers Facebook site has over 75,000 fans, and recently, the FiveFingers website received nearly one million page views in a single day.
In 2007, TIME magazine named Vibram FiveFingers one of the best inventions in the category of health. In 2008, Post and his team began research with Dan Lieberman, head of the Biological Anthropology Department at Harvard University. Much of that research helped inform on-going designs and product engineering. In 2009, the New York Times bestseller Born to Run touted the advantages of minimally shod running, while simultaneously, the fitness community of CrossFit, and several high-profile professional athletes, embraced the idea of fitness training in Vibram FiveFingers.
Since its U.S. introduction in 2006, sales of FiveFingers have more than tripled every year, and Vibram USA has grown nearly ten-fold.
Under Tony's leadership, Vibram USA has grown into a modern footwear company, providing components and finished footwear, building on a strong heritage in performance, quality and product innovation.
Before joining Vibram, Tony spent 15 years at The Rockport Company, holding a variety of positions including vice president of marketing, and finally senior vice president of product and marketing. While at Rockport, Tony created product and marketing initiatives that helped Rockport grow from $30 million to more than $500 million in worldwide sales. Tony led the introduction of several well-known product categories at Rockport including XCS, the Leadville Series, and ProWalker World Tour.
Tony is also known for the award-winning Rockport performance marketing campaign that helped the company establish a unique performance positioning in the casual footwear segment. To drive home the point of Rockport's unique athletic shoe comfort, Tony actually ran both the New York City and London Marathons in Rockport dress shoes (finishing London in a time of 2:49), a memorable event that catapulted the reputation and sales of Rockport around the world.
After Rockport and prior to joining Vibram, Tony expanded his marketing experience in the technology industry. Working with Rockport founder Bruce Katz, chairman of Rosewood Stone, a Sausalito, CA-based venture capital firm that specialized in community-based internet software and infrastructure, Tony learned firsthand the power of web marketing in targeted, niche virtual communities.
Tony has a long-standing commitment to the growth and well-being of the outdoor industry; he served on the Outdoor Industry Association's (OIA) Board of Directors from 2002-09, and he enrolled Vibram as a member of the Conservation Alliance in 2007. A Colorado native, avid outdoorsman, runner, skier, and cyclist, Tony is the co-founder of the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, which is held annually in Leadville, CO.
Tony received a B.S. in rhetoric and writing from the University of Tulsa. He and his wife have two children and live in the Boston area.