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Growing global talent through the VF Leadership Institute

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VF Leadership Institute Class of 2015

Growing global talent through the VF Leadership Institute

April 6, 2016

Maximizing talent and building leaders is critical in the highly competitive global apparel, footwear and accessories industries. To bolster talent across the company, VF created ‘Lead the VF Way,’ a company-wide program that offers management and leadership development experiences for leaders across VF, including executives and senior leaders, mid-level leaders, and entry-level leaders.

Lead the VF Way promotes professional growth and strengthens the leadership pipeline through dozens of courses, training sessions and coaching opportunities.

“With more than 30 brands around the globe, VF’s continued investment in developing leaders is critical to our business success,” said Ron Lawrence, Vice President of Global Talent Management. “We’re proud to be consistently recognized as one of the top companies for leaders.”

For the last three years, Chief Executive magazine recognized VF as a top company for leadership development. In 2016, VF ranked No. 6 out of the top 40 companies recognized. VF has also been recognized in the last three Aon-Hewitt’s ‘Top Companies for Leaders’ study, which is conducted every three years. VF is ranked No. 14 in North America in their most recent findings.


At VF, we believe leaders learn best by doing, and that leaders teach leadership



A signature program of Lead the VF Way is the VF Leadership Institute (VFLI). During the last 13 years, VFLI has conducted 18 week-long programs for more than 540 associates. Offered once or twice every year, VFLI tasks participants with solving a real business case by working together to identify solutions.  

During each session, 32 class members from across the globe travel to the VFLI host site, which include locations such as Shanghai, China, Milan, Italy, and Winston-Salem, NC. The group is broken into four teams, each of which must deliver a compelling and enriching executive-level presentation at the program’s culmination. Several members of VF’s Operating Committee, including Chairman and CEO Eric Wiseman, contribute as faculty members throughout the week and ultimately evaluate the work of each team by serving as panel judges for the final presentation.

Designed to prepare VF’s senior leaders to take on larger functions and more dynamic roles, the program focuses on providing a mix of hands-on management training, simulations, business challenges and team building exercises. The program helps leaders elevate their performance and network, and the company benefits from fresh thinking, innovative ideas and solutions.

“At VF, we believe leaders learn best by doing, and that leaders teach leadership,” adds Lawrence. “VFLI is a perfect example of both of these beliefs. It’s ‘Leading the VF Way’ in action.”