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NZ blister protection company, Walk On, names first CEO

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Walk On, the blister protection company known for its luxuriously soft Hyperfine merino wool product, has appointed Dr. Mark Davey as its first CEO.

Walk On Founder and Chairman Lucas Smith made the announcement as part of a 2018 initiative to carry the momentum of Walk On’s initial domestic success into international markets. Walk On recently secured a national distribution deal with outdoor and adventure sports multi-channel retailer Torpedo 7, and is also available in 10 retail stores nationally.

"Mark Davey’s experience as a New Zealand apparel innovator will be pivotal to the company as we embark on the next steps of the Walk On journey during our capital raise and international market development efforts," remarked Lucas Smith. "Mark has experience with both, and we are excited to have him on board."

Mark Davey joins Walk On from Confitex, where he was responsible for raising capital, growing revenue, and developing international market access for the company, as its co-founder and CEO. During his five years with Confitex he successfully launched the product into eight export markets and negotiated agreements with distributors and re-sellers in the US, UK and Korea. In the US, Dr. Davey launched Confitex on HSN (Home Shopping Network), the largest TV shopping network in the world.

"Walk On has an opportunity to take a pure New Zealand product abroad," added Davey. "Lucas has created a category-changing product with sleek branding and an inspirational story. Joining the Walk On team was an easy decision to make, and it will be a privilege to share their story with the world."

Mr. Smith indicated that Dr. Davey will be contributing to their $500k seed round capital raise and international market expansion immediately, with a focus on the US where there are 73 million hikers. Walk On’s consumer targets engage in a variety of outdoor tourism activities, including skiing and outdoor adventure sports, in addition to hiking.

Lake Tekapo-based Walk On was founded by Lucas Smith, a former Milford Track hiking guide who leveraged the biodegradable, antibacterial, hypoallergenic, and antimicrobial properties of fine merino wool and turned it into a natural and sustainable hiking injury treatment and prevention product.

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