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.

QVC Promotes Ken O’Brien To SVP Of Merchandising

Video and e-Commerce retailer QVC has promoted Ken O’Brien from VP of Merchandising to SVP of Merchandising. O’Brien will be responsible for developing and executing QVC’s merchandise strategy for all products and brands. Additionally, he will help engage and manage the QVC vendor community.  Since joining the QVC team in 2000, O’Brien has worked his way up the ranks within the merchandising division. In his most recent role as VP of Merchandising, he helped drive growth within QVC’s home products category by refining and optimizing assortment for household, kitchen and cooking products. Prior to that, he served as Director of Merchandising for home products, and helped introduce new brands, concepts and categories to the kitchen electric and gift divisions.

Smashburger Hires Chief Marketing Officer

National fast food chain Smashburger has appointed a new Chief Marketing Officer to drive the strategic direction of the brand. In his position, Josh Kern will lead the marketing team and support the company’s planned growth across the U.S. Prior to joining Smashburger, Kern was CMO of Consumer Capital Partners, which owns the Smashburger chain. In that position, he helped launch and maintain the marketing strategy for the entire umbrella of Consumer Capital Partners brands, which includes Live Basil Pizza and Tom's Urban. During his career, Kern also served as Executive Vice President of Commercial Sales for The Comex Group, and Vice President of Marketing at American Blue Ribbon Holdings, formerly Vicorp Restaurants. Earlier in his career, he acted as Vice President of Marketing at Quiznos where he drove decision-making in marketing, positioning, strategy and communications.

JCPenney Names Home Depot Exec President And CEO-Designee

The JCPenney Board of Directors has selected Marvin Ellison, current EVP of U.S. Stores at The Home Depot, as the company’s next President and CEO-Designee effective November 1, 2014. Ellison also will officially succeed current CEO Myron “Mike” Ullman III as CEO and a member of the JCPenney Board of Directors when Ullman steps down on August 1, 2015. Ellison has nearly 30 years of retail experience, serving in his current position since August 2008. He has worked at Home Depot in numerous executive roles for 12 years, including President of the company’s Northern Division and SVP of Global Logistics. Prior to joining Home Depot, Ellison spent 15 years with Target in a variety of operational roles, including Corporate Director of Asset Protection.

Luxottica CEO Resigns After Six Weeks In Position

Luxottica Group, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of luxury and sports eyewear, held an emergency Board of Directors meeting after Enrico Cavatorta, CEO of the company, resigned on Oct. 12, 2014. Cavatorta, who previously served as Chief Financial Officer for the Milan-based organization, reportedly resigned over disagreements with founder Leonardo Del Vecchio, according to The Wall Street Journal. Specifically, “the two had conflicting views over the scope of Cavatorta’s powers...” He initially joined Luxottica in September 2014, taking over as CEO after Andrea Guerra stepped down from the position.

Gap CEO Steps Down

Glenn Murphy has announced that he will retire from his position as CEO of Gap Inc. effective February 1, 2015. The retailer’s board of directors unanimously agreed to appoint Art Peck, current President of Growth, Innovation and Digital at Gap, to succeed Murphy as CEO. During Murphy’s seven-year tenure as CEO, GAP reported a 160% total shareholder return and a six-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) on earnings per share of 17%. Under Murphy’s leadership, the company acquired new brands and expanded the store locations globally, from 10 to 50 countries.

Smarter Remarketer Taps Michael Osborne As New President

Smarter Remarketer, a provider of customer intelligence for multi-channel retailers, named Michael Osborne as its new President. Prior to joining Smarter Remarketer, Osborne served as the Chief Revenue Officer at Bazaarvoice and helped lead the company through its initial public offering in 2012. In his new role, Osborne will oversee and assist in company development, strategy and growth. He will report directly to Howard Bated, Chairman and CEO of Smarter Remarketer. “Our board of directors and I are honored to have Osborne join the Smarter Remarketer leadership team in such an important role,” said Howard Bates, CEO of Smarter Remarketer. “We believe he will have a tremendous positive impact on the success of the company. With his more than 16 years of successful experience in high growth SaaS-based marketing technology companies, all of which serve similar customers to ours, he is an excellent addition.”

TXT Hires New SVP To Lead U.S. Expansion

TXT e-solutions, a provider of retail planning solutions for luxury, fashion and consumer sectors, has appointed Jean-Philippe Vorsanger as the company’s new SVP and COO of North American operations. In his new role, Vorsanger will help TXT e-solutions expand the business nationwide. With more than 20 years of experience in the retail, technology and supply chain industries, Vorsanger will be responsible for growing market presence in the U.S., generating opportunities within the existing customer base and continuing to secure successful relationships with clients. He also will manage operations, including management of the consulting, professional services and customer support teams.

Brookstone Names Interim President And CEO

Brookstone announced the resignation of James M. Speltz, President and CEO and appointed its current Chief Merchandising Officer , Steve Schwartz, as Interim President and CEO. Speltz joined Brookstone in 1998 and recently guided the retailer through bankruptcy proceedings. “Jim took on the President and CEO role at a challenging time, helping the company navigate through a difficult period,” said Piau Phang Foo, Chairman of the Brookstone Board of Directors. “He successfully helped Brookstone emerge from Chapter 11 in June. We are grateful to him for his leadership and contributions”

Build-A-Bear Appoints Todorovic As CFO

Build-A-Bear Workshop has appointed Voin Todorovic as the company’s new CFO, effective Sept. 15, 2014. In this role, Todorovic will be responsible for global finance, accounting, tax, capital management and investor relations. Todorovic succeeds Tina Klocke as CFO of Build-A-Bear, and will report to Sharon John, the company’s CEO. Klocke will remain the COO of Build-A-Bear until Q1 2015.

PunchTab Appoints Citrix Alum As New CEO

Omnichannel engagement and insights platform PunchTab has named Mike Mansbach CEO of the company. Mansbach previously served as head of the Global Sales and Client Services team for the SaaS division at Citrix. Ranjith Kumaran, former and founding CEO of PunchTab, will maintain an active role on the company’s board of directors.

Home Depot Appoints New CEO

Craig Menear, President of U.S. Retail at The Home Depot, will succeed Frank Blake as the company’s CEO effective Nov. 1, 2014. Blake will remain Chairman of the company’s board of directors, with Menear joining the board immediately. Menear has held his current position as President, U.S. Retail, since Feb. 2014, and previously served as the company’s EVP of Merchandising. A 34-year retail veteran, Menear’s responsibilities at The Home Depot have included overseeing the company’s supply chain efforts, managing the growth of the online and private brand businesses, and leading marketing and global sourcing.

Mary Kay Names Corporate Social Responsibility VP

Beauty brand Mary Kay Inc. has promoted Crayton W. Webb to VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility. In his new position, Webb will continue to oversee global media relations, reputation management and public relations initiatives for the company’s more than 35 international subsidiaries. Webb joined Mary Kay in 2005 as Manager of Government Relations and was promoted to Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility in 2008. Webb also will lead Mary Kay’s corporate social responsibility efforts called Pink Changing Lives, which focuses on transforming, inspiring and empowering women around the globe through community involvement, philanthropy and volunteerism. Mary Kay employees and the more than three million Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants worldwide participate in the program.

Aeropostale Reinstates Former CEO To Recover Waning Teen Interest

The logos that teens once flaunted proudly on their clothes are now becoming scarlet letters. As a result, once-reigning teen retailers, such as Aeropostale, are fighting to maintain customer loyalty as their sales continue to plummet. Aeropostale’s net sales for Q2 2014 decreased 13% year over year from $450 million to $396.2 million. The company has projected a Q2 operating loss up to $64 million and a net loss of approximately $0.80 to $0.83 per diluted share. To offset recent losses, Aeropostale has closed 125 of its P.S. kids’ clothing stores, cut jobs at its corporate headquarters, and shuttered 50 Aeropostale stores.

Walgreens EVP Proposes Reorganization Following Alliance Boots Acquisition

Following the acquisition of pharmacy retailer Alliance Boots, Walgreens has changed its operational structure, subject to approval by the Board of Directors. Alex Gourlay, EVP of the new combined company, Walgreens Boots Alliance, announced the alterations in a letter to Walgreens employees. The new roles and titles are scheduled to be put into effect on Sept. 1, 2014. Gourlay will continue to lead the Walgreens merchandising team while the company searches for a new leader for the daily living organization, according to the letter. Company President and CEO Greg Wasson asked Gourlay to take on additional responsibilities as the acquisition is finalized.
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