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.

Tru Kids Brands Taps Party City Exec As New President

Tru Kids Brands, the parent of the Toys ‘R’ Us brand, and b8ta announced today that Jamie Uitdenhowen has been named President of Toy Retail Showrooms, LLC, the new joint venture that will operate Toys ‘R’ Us stores in the U.S. As President, Uitdenhowen will oversee day-to-day business operations, new experiential store development and vendor partnerships leading up to the brand's U.S. resurrection later this Fall. Uitdenhowen most recently served as the Chief Merchandising Officer at Party City, and prior to that spent 18 years at Toys ‘R’ Us in a number of merchandising roles.

Kohl’s President Steps Down; Retailer Appoints New CTO

Kohl’s President Sona Chawla, who serves as second-in-command to CEO Michelle Gass, will step down from her role in mid-October.Chawla, who joined Kohl’s in November 2015 as COO, became President when Gass took the reins in May 2018 upon then-CEO Kevin Mansell’s retirement. The department store has not yet named a replacement. Chawla actually had been a candidate for the CEO role prior to Mansell’s retirement, but the Kohl’s board ultimately selected Gass for the role. She is leaving to “pursue new opportunities,” according to a company statement. Prior to joining Kohl’s, Chawla was President of Digital and CMO at Walgreens. She also held executive positions with Dell and Wells Fargo’s Internet Services Group. Additionally, Paul Gaffney has been named Senior EVP and CTO, reporting directly to Gass. Gaffney will assume his new position in mid-September, and he will be responsible for all technology, information and digital platforms supporting Kohl’s omnichannel business. Gaffney most recently served as CTO of DICK’S Sporting Goods. Prior to that, Gaffney was Senior VP of IT at The Home Depot, responsible for the organization’s software engineering, user-centered design and applications.

Neiman Marcus Names New President, CFO Departs

Neiman Marcus Group has appointed Ralph Lauren executive Lana Todorovich as its President and Chief Merchandising Officer. Todorovich, who was President of North America Wholesale at Ralph Lauren, is filling a position that has been vacant since 28-year veteran Jim Gold exited the post in March. The luxury retailer also announced the departure of EVP, CFO and COO Adam Orvos, who joined Neiman Marcus in April 2018 and oversaw the company’s $5 billion debt refinancing, which extended payments out to 2023. Orvos is resigning to move on to an undisclosed company but will remain with Neiman Marcus through Oct. 11, 2019 to assist with the transition. Neiman Marcus has begun a search for Orvos’ replacement.

Tapestry Board Replaces CEO With Chairman As Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman Struggle

Pictured: Former Tapestry CEO Victor Luis Tapestry, the fashion house that operates luxury brands Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, has appointed Chairman Jide Zeitlin as CEO, replacing Victor Luis in the role.Zeitlin has been Chairman of the Tapestry Board of Directors since November 2014 and will continue in that role. Zeitlin will lead the search for a future CEO “at the appropriate time,” the company said in a statement. Luis had held the CEO role since 2014, when the company operated as Coach. He had been with Coach in an executive capacity since 2006, first heading Coach Japan before overseeing all of Coach’s international operations.

Dollar General Promotes Execs To COO And EVP Of Store Operations

Dollar General has promoted Jeffery Owen to the role of COO, where he will oversee store operations, merchandising and the supply chain. Steven Sunderland will take Owen’s former role as EVP of Store Operations, where he will be in charge of the retailer’s nearly 16,000 locations, as well as real estate and new store development. Owen oversaw the addition of 3,500 stores and a 35% sales increase during his time as EVP of Store Operations, which started in June 2015. With more than 25 years of retail experience, he previously worked at Dollar General during an earlier part of his career, first as a store manager in 1992 and later in other roles of increasing responsibility.

Nordstrom Creates Chief Merchandising Position

Nordstrom has named Teri Bariquit to the newly created role of Chief Merchandising Officer (CMO). She will lead both the Full-Price and Off-Price merchandising areas as a member of the retailer’s executive team, reporting to Co-President Pete Nordstrom. Bariquit has spent a significant part of her career at Nordstrom, most recently as Executive VP, Merchandise Planning and Solutions, a position she has held since 2012. In this role she supported merchandise planning, inventory deployment, solutions and strategic capabilities across all channels.

Walmart Chief Marketing Officer Exits As Department Restructures

Walmart U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Messing is stepping down as of Aug. 30, according to an internal memo provided to AdAge. Some of her duties will be handled temporarily by Michael Francis, a consultant for the retail giant who will join the Retail Marketing team full-time as the company searches for a permanent replacement. Messing joined Walmart last August alongside Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside, who wrote the memo. Whiteside said that Messing is leaving the company to “return to the Bay Area with her family,” and credited her for “memorable and effective creative campaigns that reached our customers in new and unexpected ways.”

BevMo! Taps Amazon Canada Vet As CMO

BevMo! has named Matthew Champion SVP and CMO. Champion will be responsible for all aspects of marketing at the beverage retailer, including both traditional and digital marketing, in-store activation and e-Commerce. He most recently served as Head of Marketing at Amazon Canada, where he led strategy, planning and onsite execution. He also has spent time with PureRED, and Procter & Gamble.

Express Names Chief Merchandising And Chief Marketing Officers

Express has appointed Malissa Akay to the role of EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer and Sara Tervo as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer. Both executives will join Express on Sept. 9 and report directly to CEO Tim Baxter. Akay will oversee women’s and men’s design and merchandising and head up the product and merchandising strategy across Express, Express Factory Outlet stores and She previously served as EVP and General Merchandise Manager at Lane Bryant and also has worked at Ralph Lauren and DFS Group.

Rite Aid Appoints New CEO

Rite Aid has appointed Heyward Donigan as CEO, effective immediately. Donigan replaces John Standley, who will step down after nine years in the role. Standley’s exit had been planned since March, when the company announced that it would eliminate approximately 400 corporate positions, accounting for more than 20% of jobs at its headquarters and across the field organization. Donigan most recently served as President and CEO of health care plan analysis platform Sapphire Digital. Before Sapphire Digital, Donigan was the CEO at behavioral health company ValueOptions. She also has worked at Cigna, General Electric Co. and Blue Cross insurance affiliates.

Longtime Victoria’s Secret CMO Will Resign

Ed Razek, CMO of Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands, will step down from the role he has held since 1983. In an internal memo to staff, L Brands Chairman and CEO Leslie Wexner said Razek had informed him a few weeks ago about his desire to retire from the role this month. Ed Wolf, SVP of Brand and Creative at L Brands, is set to serve as interim Head of Brand and Creative, reporting to Wexner, according to the memo. Bob Campbell, VP of Creative at Victoria’s Secret, is set to serve as interim Head of Creative at Victoria’s Secret.

Monetate Appoints New CMO, Unveils New Look

Monetate has appointed Lisa Kalscheur as CMO and rebranded its logo and web site. The solution provider is capitalizing on growing demand for personalization technology as it expands its team and develops new offerings. Kalscheur was previously SVP of Marketing at NewsCred, a content marketing company, and VP of Marketing at AppNexus, a cloud-based software platform. She also has served as Director, Network Marketing at AOL.

JCPenney Replaces Stores EVP In Wake Of Abrupt Departure

JCPenney’s EVP of Stores and Supply Chain Mike Robbins is leaving the department store, effective August 3. Robbins was a top executive hired by former CEO Marvin Ellison in 2015 after 14 years at Target. But since Ellison’s departure for Lowe’s and the hiring of Jill Soltau to replace him, JCPenney has had a continuous need to refill top positions throughout the executive team, including the CFO, Chief Customer Officer and Chief Merchant. Robbins’ replacement, Jim DePaul, already had a working relationship with Soltau from their prior roles at the now-defunct Shopko. DePaul will report directly to Soltau when he starts the role on August 5.

Qurate Retail Group Names Disney Veteran To Newly Created Role

Qurate Retail Group, the owner of retail brands including QVC, HSN and Zulily, has appointed Leslie Ferraro to the newly created role of President of QxH, effective September 16. Ferraro will lead the QVC and HSN brands with a focus on leveraging video, storytelling and curated retail experiences on next-generation platforms to drive growth. Ferraro previously served as Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and President, Disney Consumer Products at the Walt Disney Company, where she led the Disney Store and retail businesses. She also has worked as EVP, Global Marketing, Sales and Travel Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and spent time at advertising agency McCann-Erickson as well as Johnson & Johnson.

Ascena Retail Group Promotes New CFO

Ascena Retail Group will promote Dan Lamadrid, currently SVP, Finance and Chief Accounting Officer, to the role of EVP and CFO, effective August 4, 2019. He will replace Robb Giammatteo, who intends to leave the company at the end of August. Lamadrid most recently served as SVP, Chief Accounting Officer at The Vitamin Shoppe and VP/Controller at Ralph Lauren. He also has held leadership roles at Hartz Mountain Corporation and Toys ‘R’ Us.
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