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.

David’s Bridal Appoints New CEO

David’s Bridal has named James Marcum as CEO, taking over the role from Interim CEO Tom Lynch. Marcum also will join the company’s Board of Directors. The retailer named Lynch as Interim CEO in March, two months after emerging from bankruptcy without closing any of its 300 stores.

Sprouts Farmers Market Names New CEO, Interim CFO

Sprouts Farmers Market has hired former Walmart executive Jack Sinclair as CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Additionally, CFO Brad Lukow has resigned, and Lawrence Molloy has been named interim CFO until a permanent successor can be found. Sinclair has more than 35 years of retail experience, most recently as CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores. He previously served as Chief Merchandising Officer of 99 Cents Only Stores, EVP of the U.S. Grocery Division of Walmart and held leadership positions at Safeway PLC in London.

Stop & Shop President Steps Down, Giant Food President Fills Position

Stop & Shop President Mark McGowan will leave his post as CEO after nearly 30 years with the grocery retailer, and will be replaced by current Giant Food President Gordan Reid. Both supermarkets are divisions of Ahold Delhaize. McGowan will remain with Stop & Shop until the end of the year to ensure a seamless transition: Reid will assume his new role in late July. Ira Kress, SVP of Operations at Giant Food, has been appointed interim president.

Sur La Table CEO Exits For CCO Position at J.Crew

Sur La Table CEO Billy May will be leaving the position he has held since August 2017 to join J.Crew as CCO (Chief Customer Officer) starting July 15. The kitchenware company’s board of directors has formed a search committee to find a permanent CEO. Kevin Keough, Managing Director and Head of Post-Acquisition at Investcorp, who has been on Sur La Table’s board for almost two years, will assume May’s responsibilities on an interim basis and will work closely with the executive team to foster a smooth transition.

Lord & Taylor President Resigns As Parent Company Reports Weak Q1 Earnings

Lord & Taylor President Vanessa LeFebvre, who has held the position since May 2018, announced she would be leaving her post via LinkedIn Thursday. LeFebvre made the announcement one day after Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC), Lord & Taylor’s parent company, reported weak Q1 earnings results. HBC saw total sales in the quarter decline 3.3% to $2.1 billion CAD (approximately $1.57 billion USD).

Destination Maternity CEO Steps Down Amid Plummeting Sales

Destination Maternity CEO Marla Ryan has resigned from her role, marking the departure of the company’s fourth chief executive in two years. Ryan will stay on with the company as President of Product Design, Sourcing and Merchandising. As Destination Maternity searches for a permanent CEO, the retailer’s board of directors created an interim Office of the CEO, which will oversee the company’s daily operations. The Office will consist of Lisa Gavales, a board member who will serve as Chair of the Office of the CEO, Dave Helkey, current CFO and COO, and Ryan. The board also named a new Chairman — Gene Davis, current Chairman and CEO of PIRINATE Consulting Group, LLC.

True Religion Appoints New Interim CEO, Still Seeks Permanent CEO

True Religion has appointed Farla Efros as Interim CEO, succeeding Chelsea Grayson in the role. Grayson, former CEO of American Apparel, is resigning to pursue other opportunities after seven months of serving the interim role. Grayson joined True Religion in late 2018 when CEO John Ermatinger announced his retirement. While Efros leads True Religion, she will remain President of HRC Retail Advisory, a retail consulting firm she has worked with for almost 10 years. Efros was a consultant for True Religion and has more than 20 years of experience working with retailers and CPG companies. The Los Angeles-based streetwear and denim company is still seeking a permanent CEO.

Cargo Picks Tesla, Walmart Veteran As COO

Cargo, which places boxes with items for sale in ridesharing vehicles, has hired Kate Pearson as COO. She will oversee operations and optimize efficiency as the company expands to Brazil through its partnership with Uber.

Mattress Firm Finds New CEO, Hopes To Accelerate Post-Bankruptcy Turnaround

Mattress Firm has named a retail outsider as its CEO one month after Executive Chairman, President and CEO Steve Stagner resigned from the position. John Eck officially takes on the roles of President and CEO effective May 28. Eck most recently served as a senior advisor and consultant for media and emerging technology platforms at Rockdale Partners, an independent financial advisory firm. Prior to that, he was Chief Local Media Officer at Univision.

Express Appoints Former Macy’s Exec As CEO

Express has appointed Timothy Baxter as its next CEO, ending a four-month search. Baxter will assume day-to-day leadership of the fashion retailer and join the company’s Board of Directors effective June 17. He succeeds interim President and CEO Matthew Moellering, who will revert to his original position of EVP and COO of the company. Baxter has the task of breathing life back into a 600-store business that has treaded water in recent years. Hampered by the departure of CEO David Kornberg in January, Express saw a Q4 loss of $1.1 million, with sales down 6% during the holiday season. For the full year, net sales declined 2% to $2.11 billion, while comparable store sales fell 1%. Net income in 2018 was $9.6 million, or $0.13 per share.

JCPenney Names Target Veteran To Top Customer Spot

JCPenney has tapped 25-year retail veteran Shawn Gensch as its new EVP and Chief Customer Officer (CCO), effective June 3. Gensch, who will report to CEO Jill Soltau, will be responsible for driving aggressive customer-centric strategies to grow traffic, engagement and customer retention. Tasked with revitalizing the company’s brand, Gensch also will oversee marketing initiatives across all channels, shape the company’s messaging and lead the development of an outstanding digital experience and increased customer loyalty.

Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steps Down Amid Activist Investor Pressure

Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steven Temares has resigned from his position and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors a few weeks after three activist investors called for him to “be held accountable for the company’s prolonged poor performance and destruction of shareholder value.” Mary Winston, former Executive VP and CFO at Family Dollar and Senior VP and CFO at Giant Eagle, has been appointed Interim CEO effective immediately. The board has formed a CEO search committee to identify a permanent CEO and will retain an executive search firm to assist in the search process.

REI Moves Interim CEO To Permanent Role

REI has named interim chief executive Eric Artz as its permanent CEO, effective May 7. Artz had served as interim CEO since February, when Jerry Stritzke, who had served as President and CEO since 2013, resigned over an undisclosed relationship that appeared to reflect a conflict of interest. Since 2014, Artz was the company’s COO; he began at REI as CFO in 2012. Prior to that, he served as CFO and in other roles at Urban Outfitters, and he spent 17 years at VF Corp.
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