Rasch until November was the top lawyer at Party City Holdco Inc., which filed for bankruptcy last week. He joined the party goods retailer in 2021 after serving as Americas head of legal at Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Group Inc.
Wolverine makes work boots for companies such as Caterpillar Inc. and Harley-Davidson Inc. and owns personal footwear brands such as Hush Puppies, Keds, Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, and Stride Rite.
The litigation the Rockford, Michigan-based company has been fighting is related to drinking water contamination stemming from fluorinated chemicals, better known as PFAS, which Wolverine used to weatherproof its shoes.
Wolverine disclosed Rasch’s hiring in a securities filing this month. Rasch and Wolverine didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Rasch succeeds former general counsel Kyle Hanson, who left Wolverine last year to join over-the-counter pharmaceutical maker Perrigo Co. as its top lawyer.
One previous general counsel at Wolverine, James Zwiers, is president of the company’s global operations group, and another, Blake Krueger, stepped down as CEO in 2021 after serving about 14 years in the position. Krueger is now executive chairman at Wolverine, which paid him $9.6 million in 2021, per a proxy filing.
Warner Norcross & Judd, where Krueger was once a partner, has been a go-to law firm for Wolverine within the past five years with nearly 22% of the company’s cases in US federal courts during that period, according to Bloomberg Law data. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm has touted its groundwater contamination litigation work.