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.

Oracle Names Former IBM Exec General Manager Of Retail Division

Oracle has appointed Jill Puleri as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Retail. Most recently, Puleri served as Worldwide Retail Industry Leader for IBM Global Business Services. In her new position at Oracle Retail, Puleri will be responsible for the Oracle Retail Global Business Unit and report directly to Mike Webster, who is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle’s Retail and Hospitality divisions. With more than 20 years of experience in the retail industry, Puleri has held a variety of leadership positions in sales, marketing and consulting.

Target Announces New Executive Changes

Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell has announced new executive changes and leadership roles designed to help the retailer accelerate its business and encourage digital transformation. Casey Carl, who is the company’s President of Omnichannel and SVP of Strategy, will take on the role of Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer. With this new title, Carl will join the Target leadership team and will report directly to Cornell.

American Apparel Fires Dov Charney, Appoints New CEO

American Apparel has fired former CEO and Founder Dov Charney for reasons related to the terms of his employment agreement, according to a company statement. The retailer’s Board of Directors has appointed Paula Schneider as CEO, effective Jan. 5, 2015. Interim CEO Scott Brubaker will consult American Apparel and assist with the transition. Prior to her appointment at American Apparel, Schneider served in executive roles at numerous retail and apparel companies, including BCBG Max Azria, Gores Group, Laundry by Shelli Segal and Warnaco.

Bebe Onboards Jim Wiggett As Permanent CEO

Women’s apparel retailer bebe stores has named interim CEO Jim Wiggett as its permanent leader. With the appointment, bebe also added Wiggett to its Board of Directors. Prior to joining the bebe executive team in July 2014, Wiggett served as an advisor to the retailer for up to five years. Throughout his 40-year career, Wiggett also has held executive positions at Charles Schwab Corporation, Duty Free Stores (DFS) and Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton (LVMH). WiggettHe founded a strategic consulting group, Jackson Hole Group, a strategic consulting company, in 2002.

Walmart Promotes EVP And COO

Wal-Mart Stores has promoted Judith McKenna to COO of Walmart U.S. McKenna succeeds Gisel Ruiz, who has been promoted to EVP of Walmart’s International People Division. Both position changes are effective immediately. McKenna will continue to report directly to Greg Foran, President and CEO of Walmart U.S. As COO, McKenna will lead a team of 1.3 million associates and also will continue to lead the retailer’s small format stores, development of new formats, expansion of Walmart services and the integration of digital commerce into existing U.S. stores.

Jeffries Steps Down As Abercrombie CEO

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. CEO Michael Jeffries has resigned from his position and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Jeffries had served as CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch since February 1992. The Board has begun the search for Jeffries's successor and is working with an executive search firm to identify and evaluate potential internal and external candidates, according to a company statement.

Walgreens Names Former Claire’s President Linda Filler As Chief Merchandising Officer

Walgreens has named Linda Filler President of Retail Products and Chief Merchandising Officer, effective Jan. 1, 2015. In her role, Filler will assume responsibility for the vision, leadership, strategic direction and performance of all Walgreens merchandising activities. Filler previously served as President of the North American division at teen jewelry and accessories retailer Claire’s. She stepped down from her position in June 2014. Prior to her tenure at Claire’s, Filler was the EVP and Chief Merchandising Offer at Sam’s Club, and held EVP positions at Walmart and Kraft Foods Group.

Francesca’s Names Signet Jewelers Alum As New Chairman, President And CEO

Specialty retailing veteran Michael W. Barnes has been named Chairman, President and CEO of Francesca’s Holdings Corp., effective immediately. He succeeds Neill Davis, who has resigned from the position. Barnes previously served as CEO of Signet Jewelers, Ltd., and led the company’s $1.46 billion acquisition of Zale Corp. The acquisition transformed Signet into the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the U.S., UK and Canada. During Barnes’ four-year tenure with the company, Signet’s share price nearly tripled.

PacSun Hires Former Guess Exec As SVP And CMO

PacSun has hired Amber Fredman-Tarshis to take over as SVP and CMO of the company. Fredman-Tarshis was most recently the CMO at Guess?, and has previously served in executive marketing roles at Discovery Communications, Victoria’s Secret and Warner Bros. In her role, Fredman-Tarshis will work closely with the PacSun leadership team to strengthen the retailer’s brand and develop new ways to reach its target demographic of consumers 17 to 24 years old. She will report directly to Gary Schoenfeld, President and CEO of PacSun.

RetailNext Names Former IBM Exec As CMO

RetailNext, a provider of in-store analytics solutions, has hired Marc Dietz as its new CMO. Dietz most recently served at IBM, heading its SaaS strategy and marketing efforts during a period in which the company acquired Coremetrics, DemandTec and Silverpop. He led all marketing efforts at DemandTec prior to its $440 million acquisition by IBM.

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.
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