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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.

BigCommerce Appoints New CMO

BigCommerce has hired Lisa Pearson as Chief Marketing Officer. She will focus on overseeing all aspects of brand and communications, product marketing, demand generation, customer acquisition and partner marketing. The appointment follows a series of key developments for BigCommerce. The company opened its first European office in London following a $64 million round of growth funding led by Goldman Sachs. It also launched the BigCommerce for WordPress solution, which pairs the content-rich capabilities of a globally popular content management system (CMS) with strong e-Commerce functionality. “Lisa’s combination of CEO-level experience, deep e-Commerce domain expertise and impeccable track record leading world-class marketing organizations made her uniquely qualified for this position,” said Brent Bellm, CEO for BigCommerce, in a statement. Pearson most recently served as CEO at Umbel. Before that, she served as CMO for Bazaarvoice, where she was a key member in the team that took the company public in 2012. She also held senior leadership roles at Devries Global and HAVAS.  

CommerceHub Hires JCPenney, Home Depot Veteran As COO

CommerceHub, a distributed commerce network for retailers and brands, has named Mike Amend COO. He will focus on accelerating product innovation and aligning the solution provider’s service and operations teams with its customers to help them utilize its platform and network.

The Container Store Appoints New EVP Of Merchandising And Planning

The Container Store has hired former H-E-B executive John Gehre as its new EVP of Merchandising and Planning, according to Dallas News. Gehre will report directly to CEO Melissa Reiff and will work closely with President and Chief Manager Sharon Tindell, who is responsible for overseeing the company’s custom closets business. Tindell has been the key merchant of The Container Store since it was co-founded in 1978 by her husband, Kip Tindell, who turned over his CEO title to Reiff in 2016.

Dunkin’ Brands Group Promotes Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. President To CEO

David Hoffman, President of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. since 2016, has been named CEO of Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins. He succeeds Nigel Travis, who is retiring from the role he has held since 2009 but who will remain actively involved in the company, serving on its Board of Directors and focusing on the brand’s international business growth. Hoffman also will serve on the company’s board. Since joining the company in October 2016, Hoffmann has been responsible for overseeing the implementation of a multi-year Blueprint for Growth, designed to transform the Dunkin’ Brands into a leader in the on-the-go beverage market. In this role, he also led all aspects of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. operations, supply chain, marketing, consumer packaged goods (CPG) growth, digital innovation and franchise development.

Lowe’s Eliminates Four Top Positions In Major C-Level Realignment

Lowe’s has simplified its leadership structure by eliminating the positions of COO, Chief Customer Officer, Corporate Administration Executive and Chief Development Officer. Responsibilities previously managed by these people will be shifted to other executives who will report directly to President and CEO Marvin Ellison. Two executives will be exiting as a direct result of the changes: COO Richard Maltsbarger will leave the company immediately, while Chief Customer Officer Michael McDermott will remain with Lowe’s through Nov. 6, 2018 to ensure a smooth transition. The executive shakeup also will affect other positions, including: EVP, Merchandising: William Boltz has been named to this role effective Aug. 15, 2018. He will be responsible for merchandising, marketing, digital and data analytics and customer insights. Boltz is currently President and CEO of Chevron North America and has held leadership positions at Home Depot and Sears; EVP, Stores: The company has initiated an external search to fill this position, which oversees the North, South and West divisions, Orchard Supply Hardware, operations engineering, the professional and services businesses and asset protection; EVP, Supply Chain: SVP of Supply Chain Operations Mike West will serve in this role on a transitional basis while the company searches for a permanent…

Barnes & Noble Terminates CEO, Appoints Leadership Group

Barnes & Noble has fired CEO Demos Parneros for reasons related to violation of the retailers’ policies, according to a company statement. Parneros, who was promoted from his position as COO in April 2017, will no longer have a place on the company’s Board of Directors and will not receive any severance payment. Until the company’s search for a new CEO produces a suitable candidate, its Board of Directors has appointed a leadership group that includes CFO Allen Lindstrom, CMO Tim Mantel and Vice President, Stores Carl Hauch. Company founder Leonard Riggio, who serves as Executive Chairman, will be involved in the group’s management as well.

Walmart Creates Chief Customer Officer Position, Names New CMO

Walmart has appointed former American Express executive Janey Whiteside to the newly created role of Chief Customer Officer (CCO), according to Reuters. Whiteside will oversee the customer experience at both Walmart stores and its e-Commerce offerings. Her team will include new Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Messing, who will join effective mid-August. As CMO, Messing will replace Tony Rogers, who has moved to the retailer’s warehouse chain Sam’s Club to serve in the newly created role of Chief Member Officer.

Starbucks CFO Retiring In November

Scott Maw, EVP and CFO at Starbucks, will retire on Nov. 30, 2018, and the coffee retailer has already begun an external search for his replacement. To help with the transition, Maw will remain in a senior consultant role through March 2019. Maw joined Starbucks in 2011 as global controller, and was named CFO in February 2014. Prior to Starbucks, he held CFO positions at SeaBright Insurance Co. and JPMorgan Chase, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Sam’s Club Creates New Chief Member Officer Position

Walmart has named Tony Rogers, SVP and CMO at Walmart U.S., to the newly-created position of Chief Member Officer at Sam’s Club, according to Supermarket News. He will start this new role, where he will oversee membership, marketing and member experience, in late July.

J.Crew Appoints New Chief Design Officer, Adds Mack Weldon Brand

J.Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as Chief Design Officer, where she will be in charge of overall design direction for the J. Crew brand along with Crewcuts and Mercantile. The company’s growing Madewell chain has its own design team. Uurasjarvi is tasked with winning back shoppers to a brand that has done poorly in retaining them in recent years. J.Crew sales decreased 7% to $391.9 million in Q1, with comparable sales dipping 6% following a decrease of 11% in Q1 last year.The fashion retailer has struggled for the past few years due to a slow reaction to changing trends and a perception that prices were no longer in sync with quality.

Rue21 Names Chico’s Exec President And CEO

Laurie Van Brunt, most recently President of Soma Intimates at Chico’s FAS, will take the reins as President and CEO at rue21. Van Brunt succeeds Michael Appel, who was named interim CEO in October 2017 and will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board at r21 Holdings, the retailer’s parent company. Rue21 also named Michele Pascoe its new SVP and CFO, and Stephen Sommers as SVP and Chief Marketing Officer. Rue21 emerged from bankruptcy just four months after filing for Chapter 11 protection in May 2017 and closing approximately 400 of its 1,179 stores. In May 2018, Bank of America Merrill Lynch increased rue21’s line of credit by $20 million to $145 million.

Macy’s Appoints Home Depot Tech VP As CTO

Macy’s will appoint Naveen Krishna as its next Chief Technology Officer, effective June 16, 2018. As CTO, Krishna will be responsible for driving the technology strategy and direction for the department store, including all store, e-Commerce and internal-facing technologies. He will oversee the teams that build the end-to-end e-Commerce experience, enterprise shared services, infrastructure, field services and functional IT support.

Gap Names Turnaround Specialist CEO Of Gap Brand

Gap has named Neil Fiske, a 20-year retail veteran credited with turnarounds at three major companies, as President and CEO of its Gap brand. Fiske will begin on June 20, joining the retailer’s leadership team and reporting to Gap Inc. President and CEO Art Peck. Fiske’s most recent post was CEO of Billabong International, where he restored the flagship Billabong brand to a market-leading position. Prior to that, Fiske spent five years as President and CEO of Eddie Bauer, repositioning the company to focus on its outdoor outfitter heritage. Fiske also served as CEO of Bath & Body Works, where he led a brand transformation that helped reverse a multi-year trend of negative comp store sales.
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