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.

Catalina Chooses Amtrak Veteran As New CEO

Catalina has named Gerald “Jerry” Sokol Jr. as its CEO, effective immediately. His experience includes leading technology and consumer-focused companies across a wide variety of markets, including the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, Australia and Latin America.

JCPenney Names New CEO In Hopes Of Turnaround

After a four-month search, JCPenney finally has found its next chief exec. The department store’s Board of Directors appointed Jill Soltau as CEO, effective Oct. 15. Soltau most recently served as President and CEO of JOANN Stores. She will step up to the plate to fill the void left by departed CEO Marvin Ellison, who took the same position at Lowe’s in July. Soltau certainly has a difficult job on her hands: turning around a business that has nearly $4 billion in unpaid long-term debt. While the department store was once one of the most iconic names in retail, it has reacted to the industry’s transformation too slowly. Matters didn’t improve even when JCPenney attempted its first turnaround, upon Ellison’s hiring in August 2015.

Symphony RetailAI Names New President Of EMEA Operations

Symphony RetailAI, an AI-enabled decision platform provider, has promoted Arnaud Gauthier to President and Chief Customer Officer, EMEA. Gauthier previously served as the company’s Senior VP, Southern Europe. In his new role, Gauthier will be responsible for sales, services and customer success across Europe, the Middle East and Africa for all Symphony RetailAI product and services lines. He will help continue the company’s expansion of its category management, supply chain, personalized marketing and customer insights solutions, fueled by AI and machine learning capabilities.

JCPenney’s C-Suite Merry-Go-Round Spins Again With CFO Departure

JCPenney certainly has its hands full as it determines the future of its C-suite. Just four months after CEO Marvin Ellison left the company to take the chief exec position at Lowe’s, the department store is now looking to fill the CFO role as well. Jeffrey Davis, EVP and CFO of JCPenney, is resigning from his position on Oct. 1 to pursue another opportunity. Davis had been CFO since July 2017, when he came from the same position at Darden Restaurants. He also has held leadership positions with Walmart U.S. stores, Lakeland Tours and McKesson Corp.

Petco Appoints New CMO

Petco has appointed Tariq Hassan, a 20-year global marketing veteran with experience in brand strategy, digital and performance marketing, communications, innovation and insights, as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Hassan, who is based at the company’s National Support center in San Diego, Calif., will report directly to CEO Ron Coughlin. Hassan joins the company from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he served as SVP, Global Brand Strategy and Head of Marketing for Wealth Management. Before that, he held senior marketing roles at Hewlett Packard and Omnicom. During his career he has served in global marketing roles where he worked with brands including PepsiCo, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, Coors, Mars, Emirates, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Johnson & Johnson and Visa.

Walmart Installs Four Senior Execs At Flipkart

Just one month after finalizing its acquisition of a majority stake in Flipkart, Walmart is putting four of its top executives into key positions at the Indian e-Commerce marketplace, according to the Economic Times. Emily McNeal, head of Walmart mergers and acquisitions, will join the Flipkart Group as SVP and Group CFO, according to an email sent to Flipkart employees by CEO Binny Bansal. Other Walmart executives moving to Flipkart are:

Walmart Promotes Bonobos Co-President To CEO

Micky Onvural has been named CEO of Bonobos. She will replace founder Andy Dunn, who will be taking on broader digital responsibilities at parent company Walmart, which acquired the retailer in June 2017. Onvural joined Bonobos in October 2016 as the retailer’s Chief Marketing Officer and added the Co-President title in July 2017. She has held high-level marketing, developer relationship and business development posts at Trulia, TokBox and eBay, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Albertsons Appoints Former Starbucks Head As President And CEO

Jim Donald, a former President and CEO of Starbucks, was named President and CEO of Albertsons Cos., effective immediately. Current Albertsons CEO Robert Miller will remain with the company as Chairman of the Board. Continuing in the role as President at Albertsons, Donald was most recently COO of the food and drug retailer. He also previously served as CEO at both Haggen and Extended Stay America, as well as holding leadership roles at Walmart, Safeway and Pathmark Stores.

Working Solutions Names New Strategic Technology Officer

Working Solutions, a provider of contact center solutions for the retail industry, has named Ashok Narayanan to the post of Strategic Technology Officer, with the task of optimizing business performance delivered by the company’s on-demand workforce. Narayanan joins the company from Vizient, where he was the Senior Director of software and platform engineering for the health care entity of non-profit hospitals. Prior to that position, he managed engineering efforts at Sabre.

Wakefern Hires New Head Of Marketing

Wakefern Food Corp. has named Erik Keptner SVP of Marketing. He has nearly 20 years’ experience in the supermarket industry and will oversee the Digital Commerce and Analytics, Advertising, Corporate Merchandising, Private Label and Own Brand and Social Media and Digital Advertising divisions.

Microsoft Appoints Salesforce Exec To Retail-CPG Post

Shelley Bransten, formerly SVP for Retail and Consumer Goods Industries at Salesforce, has been named Corporate Vice President of Global Retail and Consumer Goods Industries at another tech powerhouse, Microsoft. “As part of this new role, I’ll be leading the charge to help retailers and brands harness technology that puts great customer experience at the heart of everything they do,” said Bransten in a LinkedIn post. Bransten began at Salesforce in February 2014. Prior to that she had a long career in retail, including marketing positions at Gap Inc., Williams-Sonoma and Smith & Hawken.

At Home Appoints CVS Exec As New CFO

At Home has revealed that CFO Judd Nystrom will leave the company. Jeffrey Knudson, currently Senior VP of Finance and Retail Controller at CVS Health, will be his successor. Knudson will take the role effective Sept. 28, 2018 after a transition period. Nystrom is leaving to “explore other early-stage growth opportunities,” said Lee Bird, Chairman and CEO of At Home in a statement.

Splio Names New Chief Marketing Officer

Omnichannel marketing platform provider Splio has promoted Charles Wells, a 30-year technology and digital marketing veteran, to Chief Marketing Officer. Wells, who joined the company in August 2017, was already helping to lead the Splio rebranding strategy that was undertaken this year, which aims to reposition its place in the market by reworking products and pushing a more up-to-date visual identity. Wells also will focus on designing a global marketing and communication strategy for the company, highlighting Splio’s objective to advance its digital and international marketing efforts.

Sharper Image Promotes COO To Top Spot

Sharper Image has named Lance Reese as CEO. For the past two years Reese has served as the retailer’s COO, responsible for corporate operating units including marketing, merchandising, business development, international sourcing, operations, procurement, technology and customer service. “From an operational perspective, between IT, the warehouse, call center and our inventory teams, Lance has upgraded our processes, systems and efficiencies, which has translated into a better experience for our customers and improved profitability,” said David Katzman, Managing Partner of Camelot Venture Group, which owns and operates the retailer.
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