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.

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.

Smarter Remarketer Taps Michael Osborne As New President

Smarter Remarketer, a provider of customer intelligence for multi-channel retailers, named Michael Osborne as its new President. Prior to joining Smarter Remarketer, Osborne served as the Chief Revenue Officer at Bazaarvoice and helped lead the company through its initial public offering in 2012. In his new role, Osborne will oversee and assist in company development, strategy and growth. He will report directly to Howard Bated, Chairman and CEO of Smarter Remarketer. “Our board of directors and I are honored to have Osborne join the Smarter Remarketer leadership team in such an important role,” said Howard Bates, CEO of Smarter Remarketer. “We believe he will have a tremendous positive impact on the success of the company. With his more than 16 years of successful experience in high growth SaaS-based marketing technology companies, all of which serve similar customers to ours, he is an excellent addition.”

TXT Hires New SVP To Lead U.S. Expansion

TXT e-solutions, a provider of retail planning solutions for luxury, fashion and consumer sectors, has appointed Jean-Philippe Vorsanger as the company’s new SVP and COO of North American operations. In his new role, Vorsanger will help TXT e-solutions expand the business nationwide. With more than 20 years of experience in the retail, technology and supply chain industries, Vorsanger will be responsible for growing market presence in the U.S., generating opportunities within the existing customer base and continuing to secure successful relationships with clients. He also will manage operations, including management of the consulting, professional services and customer support teams.

Brookstone Names Interim President And CEO

Brookstone announced the resignation of James M. Speltz, President and CEO and appointed its current Chief Merchandising Officer , Steve Schwartz, as Interim President and CEO. Speltz joined Brookstone in 1998 and recently guided the retailer through bankruptcy proceedings. “Jim took on the President and CEO role at a challenging time, helping the company navigate through a difficult period,” said Piau Phang Foo, Chairman of the Brookstone Board of Directors. “He successfully helped Brookstone emerge from Chapter 11 in June. We are grateful to him for his leadership and contributions”

Build-A-Bear Appoints Todorovic As CFO

Build-A-Bear Workshop has appointed Voin Todorovic as the company’s new CFO, effective Sept. 15, 2014. In this role, Todorovic will be responsible for global finance, accounting, tax, capital management and investor relations. Todorovic succeeds Tina Klocke as CFO of Build-A-Bear, and will report to Sharon John, the company’s CEO. Klocke will remain the COO of Build-A-Bear until Q1 2015.

PunchTab Appoints Citrix Alum As New CEO

Omnichannel engagement and insights platform PunchTab has named Mike Mansbach CEO of the company. Mansbach previously served as head of the Global Sales and Client Services team for the SaaS division at Citrix. Ranjith Kumaran, former and founding CEO of PunchTab, will maintain an active role on the company’s board of directors.
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