Specialty athletic retailer Foot Locker, Inc. said on Friday that Richard A. Johnson will become President and Chief Executive Officer of Foot Locker U.S., Footaction, Kids Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker.

Johnson is moving from his three-year-old position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company's Foot Locker Europe operation, effective immediately.

Accordingly, Lewis P. Kimble, Managing Director of Foot Locker Asia/Pacific Division, will fill Johnson’s former position.

On a related note, the company said that over the next year it expects to open 37 new stores, close 190 under-performing stores, and remodel or relocate 160 stores. In all, 117 stores are expected to be closed during the fourth quarter, a large percentage of which are Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker stores in the United States.

Said Ken Hicks, President and Chief Executive of Foot Locker: "The work we are doing to strengthen our brand positioning, coupled with steps we are taking to streamline corporate staff functions and enhance our real estate portfolio, is designed to make us a more efficient organization, bolster our already strong financial position and, most importantly, enhance our competitive strength and leadership position now and for the long term."

Foot Locker, Inc. currently operates approximately 3,600 stores in 21 countries in North America, Europe and Australia.

—Tim Yap