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Retail Movers & Shakers

A week does not go by without a significant promotion or appointment within retail companies — including merchants, industry associations as well as solution providers. Retail TouchPoints presents these updates via the Retail Movers & Shakers section, spotlighting the individuals and companies announcing important new executive developments.

eBags Co-Founder Joins NRF Board Of Directors

The National Retail Federation (NRF) Board of Directors has elected its newest member, eBags Co-Founder and EVP Peter Cobb. Cobb will serve a three-year term in the role. Cobb has previous experience in a major role at NRF, as the former chairman of the trade association’s digital branch, Shop.org. He also formerly served as a chairman of the Travel Goods Association, which presented him with the TGA Award in 2009 for outstanding service to the travel goods industry.

Christopher & Banks CEO And Board Chair Depart

On the heels of a disappointing holiday, Christopher & Banks announced the departure of its President and CEO LuAnn Via, and its Board Chairwoman Lisa Wardell. The move stays true to the recent trend of retail CEO turnover and Via becomes the second high-profile female CEO to lose her position in 2017. The company lowered its guidance for Q4, blaming lower traffic, softness in the women's apparel market and the weather. The most significant declines came in the last two full weekends before Christmas, when sales fell by approximately $4.5 million according to the company. Via, hired as CEO in November 2012, has been replaced by Joel Waller, who was appointed interim President, CEO and a member of the board. The retailer plans to engage a national search firm to help it find a permanent chief executive. 

True Fit Names Former Demandware Exec As Chief Retail Officer

Footwear and apparel discovery platform True Fit has appointed Troy Brown as its Chief Retail Officer. In this role Brown will lead True Fit’s go-to-market team and drive the global growth of the company’s retail partnerships, overseeing all aspects of sales, delivery and client success. Brown will be responsible for the growth of True Fit’s SaaS solutions including the new data-driven personality platform, Discovery.

Walmart CIO Terrell Stepping Down

Karenann Terrell, who has served as Walmart's CIO since 2012, will be leaving on Feb. 24, 2017. The retailer has not yet named a successor, according to The Wall Street Journal. Terrell had joined Walmart in 2010 as EVP of Information Systems after four years as CIO of Baxter International, a health care firm. Her recent initiatives have included Walmart's move into online grocery sales. Walmart did not provide any information on where Terrell is headed after she leaves.

Retail Industry Veteran Appointed SmartFocus CEO

Intelligent marketing technology provider SmartFocus has appointed Chris Allan as its new CEO. The company’s former CEO, Rob Mullen, will join the SmartFocus board.  “Chris’ record of leading innovative retail technology providers, paired with his success at building client-centric organizations, makes him the ideal choice as we look at the next phase of the SmartFocus story,” said Mullen in a statement. Prior to his appointment at SmartFocus, Allan was CEO of Quantum Retail Technology, where he served as Chief Customer Officer and Chief Strategy Officer. He also served as Director of Strategy at Retek (now part of Oracle).

Lee Summers Appointed CEO Of Reflect

Reflect, a digital brand media solutions provider, has appointed Lee Summers as its new CEO. Summers succeeds Bill Warren, who will maintain his position as Executive Chairman of the Board. In his new role, Summers will help lead Reflect’s efforts to deliver digital customer experiences to stores and other physical venues.

Nordstrom Promotes Rack President To New C-Level Innovation Post

Seeking to build more personalized shopping experiences in all channels, Nordstrom has named longtime company executive Geevy Thomas to the newly created position of Chief Innovation Officer. Thomas most recently served as President of the company’s off-price store brand, Nordstrom Rack. Bringing an exec from Nordstrom Rack to oversee innovation for the entire retail operation appears to be a case of rewarding success. Nordstrom Rack has been Nordstrom’s best-performing brand, with Q3 net sales at its stores and online increasing 10.1% and comparable store sales increasing 3.9%. These numbers are a huge step up compared to Nordstrom’s full-line brand, which increased net sales 2.4% and comparable store sales 0.9% during the same period. E-Commerce sales largely carried the full-line division with a 20.1% comparable sales increase, while brick-and-mortar Nordstrom stores actually saw a revenue decline of 4.5%.

Urban Outfitters CEO Joins Eponym Board Of Directors

Trish Donnelly, CEO of Urban Outfitters, Inc., has joined the Board of Directors of eponym, an open platform provider that empowers contemporary brands including Steven Alan, alice + olivia and Jason Wu to design and distribute eyewear directly to consumers under their own labels. Donnelly was appointed CEO of Urban Outfitters last March after two years as the retailer's North American President. Prior to joining the retailer she served as President of Steven Alan, where she spearheaded the company's successful retail store expansion, e-Commerce and wholesale growth and showroom development. She also served as EVP of J.Crew Direct and spent 12 years in merchandising at Ralph Lauren. “Trish Donnelly’s leadership in re-establishing Urban Outfitters as a premiere destination for young adults has reinforced her reputation as one of the retail industry's most gifted leaders,” said Andrew Lipovsky, Founder and CEO of eponym in a statement. “She shares our vision for transforming the eyewear industry and her experience and expertise will be a tremendous asset as the company continues to grow.”

Bluecore Taps Former Oracle Data Cloud Exec As First COO

Real-time interaction management platform provider Bluecore announced that former Datalogix and Oracle GM Rob Holland has joined the team as its first COO.  Holland’s expertise will scale the organization’s operations and management functions as the company builds on its expanding product portfolio. In 2016 Bluecore’s employee base more than doubled to more than 120 employees as the organization grew to support more than 325 retail brands. This addition to the private company’s C-suite is the latest in a series of announcements and new hires pointing to Bluecore’s continued and anticipated growth. “Rob’s long tenure in the digital, retail and CPG industries will guide us as we evolve, and ensure that our real-time behavioral data solutions continue to address key industry pain points, while delivering new efficiencies and insights to the world’s top retail organizations,” said Fayez Mohamood, CEO and Co-Founder of Bluecore in a statement.

Rue21 Fills Newly Created CMO And COO Slots

Recognizing the confluence of digital and marketing in today's retail environment, rue21 has promoted Brett Trent to the newly created position of Chief Marketing Officer. Trent has been the teen retailer's Chief Digital Officer for the past two years and prior to that was SVP of Digital Retail. Together with Chief Customer Officer Liz Hodges, Trent will expand rue21's use of data and technology to more closely interact with customers at every brand touch point, including online, social media and stores. The new job of Chief Operating Officer will be taken by Dirk Armstrong. He has been with rue21 for five years, most recently as SVP and Director of Stores. As COO, Armstrong will focus on driving the strategic vision of the retailer's 1,200+ brick-and-mortar stores; managing the retailer's 21,000 field employees; and transforming the brand's Girl's in-store experience to meet the merchandise transformation being led by Chief Merchandising Officer Nina Barjesteh.

Staples Names First CTO

Staples, Inc. has appointed Faisal Masud to the newly created role of Chief Technology Officer. He had previously served as EVP of Global E-Commerce since joining the company in May 2013.  In his new role, Masud will be responsible for both e-Commerce and global technology and will report directly to Shira Goodman, Staples’ CEO and President. “Faisal has been a change agent for the company, helping grow Staples digital commerce, a key focus of our go-forward strategy,” said Goodman in a statement. “Aligning our e-Commerce and global technology organizations under one leader will speed execution so we can more rapidly bring digital solutions to market, and drive even greater innovation within the business, as we continue to enhance our B2B customer experience.”

Lands’ End Names Tumi Exec As New CEO

Three months after ousting Federica Marchionni, Lands’ End has named Jerome Griffith as its new CEO, effective March 2017. The retailer’s Board of Directors appointed Griffith to the role, replacing co-interim CEOs Joseph Boitano and James Gooch. Griffith will bring 30 years of retail experience from luggage and fashion brands to the role, giving him an ideal background for a brand that has been in desperate search of a financial turnaround. Lands’ End experienced a $7.2 million net loss in Q3, with retail segment net revenue dipping $15.6% to $39.3 million, with the company controversially deciding to sell its products on Amazon.

Lululemon Promotes Burgoyne To EVP Of Retail Americas

Lululemon has promoted Celeste Burgoyne to Executive Vice President of Retail, Americas. Prior to this promotion, she held the positions of Senior VP of Retail, Americas, as well as VP of Store Operations and General Manager. She will be responsible for expanding the reach of the athletic apparel retailer and exploring new ways to engage with customers.

Toshiba Appoints Stephen Markham SVP Of Portfolio Management

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions has appointed Dr. Stephen K. Markham Senior Vice President of portfolio management. Dr. Markham will be responsible for product planning and execution of the Toshiba POS product portfolio as well as process management throughout the company, reporting to President and CEO Scott Maccabe. “I am very excited to have Stephen join us as part of the leadership team,” said Maccabe in a statement. “Stephen is a recognized expert in the fields of product development, innovation and technology commercialization. I have great confidence that his insights will continue to accelerate growth, keeping Toshiba at the forefront of retail technology for a long time to come.” Prior to joining Toshiba, Dr. Markham was a professor at North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management. He is President of the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA) Research Foundation and Founder of the PDMA New Product Development Professional Certification Program.

Pesco Promoted To CEO Of Save Mart

The apple doesn’t fall far from the grocer’s tree. Nicole Piccinini Pesco, daughter of the late Robert “Bob” Piccinini, longtime owner and chairman of the 206-store Save Mart chain, has been promoted to CEO. In her new role, Pesco will aim to reinvigorate and accelerate the market share of the company’s Save Mart, Lucky and FoodMaxx banners. Pesco grew up in the grocery business and worked her way up, from being a service clerk in the stores on her summer vacations into roles of increasing responsibility. Her most recent position was Co-President and Chief Strategy and Branding Officer, where she oversaw marketing, merchandising strategies and strategic execution.
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