Other Leading Industries | Retail
President and CEO
Duluth Holdings Inc. | Mt. Horeb
Sam Sato was named president and chief executive officer of Mt. Horeb-based Duluth Holdings Inc., in 2021. The holding company operates more than 65 Duluth Trading Company locations nationwide. Its portfolio of apparel brands includes Duluth, AKHG and Best Made.
Prior to joining Duluth Trading, Sato worked in executive roles at Finish Line, including as CEO from 2016 to 2019. Sato spearheaded the retailer’s merger with JD Sports and helped develop its partnership with Macy’s. Earlier, he spent 23 years at Nordstrom, including as its VP of corporate merchandising.
Top of your bucket list: “I hope to visit the Great Pyramid of Giza as well as Jerusalem one day. I would also love to become a certified sommelier.”
Fun fact: “I think people would be surprised by my music playlist. I love many genres of music, primarily pop, rap, and R&B.”
First job: “‘Bag boy’ was the official title, but those who have had this job know it’s much more than that. I mopped, kept areas stocked, emptied the trash, etc. It taught me many valuable lessons: humility, hard work and the importance of ‘service with a smile.’”
Career advice: “Early in my career as a young professional taking on his first managerial position, one of my early mentors said to me, ‘Don’t be in a hurry to lead; be in a hurry to listen and learn.’ This was sound advice then, and it continues to guide me today.”