Leslie Golts named Roots CMO

Roots, one of Canada’s most famous and iconic brands, has a new top marketer with the appointment of Leslie Golts as chief marketing officer.

“Leslie brings a wealth of experience and proven success in building iconic brands to Roots,” said Meghan Roach, Roots’ president and chief executive officer, in a release announcing the hire. “She is a talented leader that will play a critical role in advancing the company’s marketing initiatives and reinforcing its position in the market.”

Golts joins from Unilever, where she spent more than a decade after joining as a brand building manager in 2012. She subsequently earned a series of promotions into increasingly senior posts, and was most recently GM and head of marketing for the company’s beauty and wellness business unit. During her time at Unilever, she contributed to a number of well-known and successful campaigns for Dove.

“I am so grateful for my career journey with Unilever, I have been fortunate to have learned from some of the world’s best brand crafters and marketing operators,” Golts told The Message. “Truly understanding the emotional connection that can exist between consumers and brands, as well as a core belief in making the world a better place through a variety of sustainability initiatives, have been key areas of focus in my time with Unilever, and particularly on Dove.”

Roots is marking its 50th anniversary this year, and remains a beloved brand that many Canadians wear with pride. While 2023 has proven difficult for Roots, the company has been expanding its offerings in recent years and only began its anniversary promotions in August.

While Roots’ “emerging apparel collections” delivered strong growth, increases were not enough to offset softness in demand for fleece bottoms, said the company.

“We are pleased with how our teams have performed and happy with the performance of our major new product launches despite the tough economic conditions. Our Beaver Canoe, Active, and One collections showed strong growth within the quarter,” said president and CEO Meghan Roach in presenting the second quarter results in September.

“Our 50th anniversary celebrations launched mid-August, and we will continue the excitement throughout the next twelve months,” said Roach. Promotions will include an assortment of limited-edition products and capsule collections.

“I am so thrilled to join Roots, I grew up in Toronto and this brand evokes many beautiful memories for me personally, whether in school, amongst family, our exploring the great outdoors,” said Golts. “The brand’s core values of community, integrity, genuine heritage, and freedom align very closely with my own guiding principles.”

And she said useful lessons from her time at Unilever will come with her to Roots. “I believe the undivided attention on how we can serve the consumer or shopper is going to be the same, though how that comes to life may be quite different,” she said, though declined to say what, if any, changes are planned for the brand she now oversees.

“It’s early days,” she said. “I look forward to working with the team to deepen brand love both locally and globally.”

David Brown