Doug Otto

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Doug Otto
Douglas B. Otto

EducationUniversity of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. 1973)
OccupationBusiness executive
Years active1973–2008
EmployerDeckers Outdoor Corporation
Board member ofThe Whale Beach Foundation
Spouse(s)Rita Otto

Douglas B. Otto (born 1951) is a business executive who co-founded Deckers Outdoor Corporation whose portfolio includes the UGG Australia brand.

Early life and education[edit]

Otto was born in 1951 to two high school educators.[1] He attended and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in business economics in 1973.[1][2]

Deckers Outdoor Corporation[edit]

While at UCSB in 1973, Otto began producing sandals with classmate Karl F. Lopker.[3][4][5]

He really invented the modern flip-flop we know today, the neoprene rubber with parachute webbing. They were called Deckers.

–Angel Martinez, Deckers President and CEO[6]

The duo, with Otto handling sales and distribution while Lopker oversaw manufacturing, based the company on durable, long-lasting sandals which catered to the surf community.[7] After buying out Lopker in 1982, Otto decided to license and manufacture other companies' product which resulted in a 1985 agreement with Teva.[7]

Deckers went public in October 1993[8] and in 1995 acquired UGG Australia. The move, engineered by Otto, has been described as a "... brilliant and lucrative business maneuver..."[7] and "one of the great success stories within the consumer category."[9] The UGG brand, with Deckers, gained market traction slowly, but after an Oprah Winfrey feature on a "Favorite Things show sales and popularity increased dramatically.[9] UGGs soon became a fashion trend ingrained in popular culture with celebrities such as Kate Moss,[9] Katy Perry, Gisele Bündchen, and Sarah Michelle Gellar all wearing the brand as well as being shown on Sex and the City.[9]

Otto retired from Deckers in 2008,[2] but revenue continued to climb and first hit $1 billion US dollars in 2010.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Doug Otto is married to Rita Otto and has three children.[1] He is currently the President and Chairman of the Board for The Whale Beach Foundation, roles he has held since 1994.[1] He was honored by UC Santa Barbara in 2009 with its "Distinguished Alumni" award, joining his Deckers Corporation co-founder Karl Lopker who was a 1998 honoree.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "2009 Babson Forum Doug Otto Biography". Babson Entrepreneurship Forum. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Jervis, Laurie (March 25, 2009). "Decker's Founder to Speak at SBCC". Noozhawk. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  3. ^ "Deckers Outdoor Corporation". Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  4. ^ Olsen, Patricia R. (January 23, 2010). "The Joy of a Family Shop". The New York Times. New York City, New York. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  5. ^ Leff, Lisa (February 16, 1997). "Money, Fame And Family". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  6. ^ Kacik, Alex (December 7, 2011). "Deckers Outdoor Corp. Breaks Ground on New Headquarters in Goleta". Noozhawk. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Stewart, Ethan (December 8, 2011). "Diamonds on the Soles of Their Shoes". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  8. ^ Adelson, Andrea (February 7, 1995). "Market Place; Deckers makes a hot-selling sandal, but Wall St. remains cool". The New York Times. New York City, New York. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d Conley, Lucas (September 9, 2010). "The Golden Fleece". The Wall Street Journal. New York City, New York. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  10. ^ "Deckers Outdoor Corporation Revenue & Earnings Per Share (EPS)". NASDAQ. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  11. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Award". UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association. Retrieved October 22, 2014.

External links[edit]