Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix
Co-Founders and Co-CEOs
Steven and Lena are husband and wife (I’m assuming you can guess which is which) and life-long entrepreneurs.
Steven is the visionary and marketer for Xero Shoes. He is a Masters All-American sprinter (one of the fastest men over the age of 50 in the US) and former All-American gymnast. He was also a professional stand-up comic, and cognitive psychology researcher, and taught Tai Chi and Zen Archery. Steven is also the creator of Scriptware, the industry-standard word processor for film and TV writers.
Lena is an avid hiker. In her previous life, she created and sold a home mortgage company, and has managed the back end of numerous companies. She’s the glue that keeps Xero Shoes from busting at the proverbial seams as it grows, taking care of all things logistical and numeric.
If you want a good laugh and some insight into Steven and Lena’s relationship, read the story of how Xero Shoes began.
President and Chief Financial Officer
David is passionate about finance and providing great business intelligence for the organization to grow and thrive. Over the last 15 years, David has been the chief financial executive in multiple industries including property management, software development, and e-commerce. Before that, David obtained his doctorate in Environmental Science. He loves all that Colorado offers, especially the beautiful mountains for hiking, camping and off-roading.
Chief Operating Officer
Brighton keeps the wheels turning for Xero Shoes, coordinating projects between our global warehouses, the executive team, and the talented and energetic Customer Happiness Team. In his spare time, Brighton enjoys showing off new Xero Shoes product ideas on the nature and urban trails of Colorado adding members to the Xero family one at a time.
Chief Product Officer
Dennis not only spearheads our new product development but brings invaluable experience to Xero Shoes.
A 35-year industry veteran, Dennis co-founded Avia Athletic Footwear (which sold to Reebok) and, prior to joining Xero Shoes, was Global Design Director for Crocs. He started in footwear in 1978 with Osaga Athletic Footwear, was the Global Business Unit Director of Footwear for Wilson Sporting Goods, spent 7 years at Converse in senior product roles, and worked at Doc Martens Footwear as the Global Director of Products.
Says Dennis of Xero Shoes, “Xero Shoes are genuine, legitimate. We don’t need to create ways to differentiate our product… it actually IS different!”
Director of Employee Development
As the Director of Employee Development, Barbara’s experience as an educator, executive director, fundraiser and program director over the last 30 years has found its fit with Xero Shoes. Barbara’s knowledge and passion for emotionally intelligent growth among individuals and teams make her work at Xero both wonderfully challenging and deeply rewarding.
The pair that she cannot do without—the Phoenix, with a shoe goal of every colour and iteration of this style!
EU Managing Director
Dan spearheads Xero Shoes’ European and UK entities, as well as the global wholesale strategy. Headquartered in Prague, Dan works with sales reps and distributors worldwide to bring Xero Shoes to more countries.
Chief Product Officer
Michael leads the product team, who expands and innovates Xero Shoes’ “foot first” designs into new categories based on his extensive knowledge and experience in casual and performance footwear. He has worked in footwear marketing and management for global brands including Hummel, Adidas, PUMA, Crocs, Clarks, and most recently, Timberland. Prior to his career in product, Pao played soccer professionally across Asia.
VP of Footwear Development
John leads Xero Shoes’ product development staﬀ, liaising with Product Design, Product Management and Operational counterparts to continue innovating the brand’s growing line of barefoot-inspired footwear. He brings extensive knowledge and experience in performance running, trail running, and hiking shoe construction. Prior to Xero Shoes, Wadley played an instrumental role in fueling VF Corp brand, Altra’s, growth over the past 10 years.
VP of Digital Marketing
Jody has more than 20 years of experience in digital marketing where she’s led interactive, full-scale B2B and B2C campaigns. She’s a pioneer in the SEO field and her marketing tactics have improved campaigns and led to increased sales leads.
Director of Sales
Tom oversees Xero Shoes’ rapid expansion in the U.S. wholesale channel, working with big box and specialty retailers to bring more Xero Shoes to more people. Tom built up an impressive sales portfolio at Newton Running, where he grew into the role of VP of Sales at Newton Running.
The Xero Shoes Team!
In addition to our executive team, Xero Shoes has more than 100 employees worldwide, including Customer Happiness, Warehouse, Product, Marketing and PR, Sales and Accounting.