It was the year of C-suite shakeups, as 2019 saw the arrivals and departures of industry leaders across the board.
According to a Challenger, Gray & Christmas report published last month, 1,332 CEOs have left their posts so far in 2019 — the highest number recorded from January to October since tracking began in 2002.
In the athletic arena, October itself saw the announced exits of two high-profile chiefs: Nike’s Mark Parker and Under Armour’s Kevin Plank. Both leaders will remain at their respective firms in the roles of executive chairman after exiting their top posts in January. Fashion also noted a slew of goodbyes, with Tapestry CEO Victor Luis replaced by Chairman Jide Zeitlin in September and eBay’s Devin Wenig leaving Scott Schenkel as interim chief.
“After a decade of expansion, companies that started 10 years ago are finding themselves in a phase where new leadership is needed,” VP Andrew Challenger said at the time. “Other companies are adapting to changing technologies or finding new leadership based on current economic conditions and forecasts for the coming year.”
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Here, FN rounds up the biggest comings and goings of the year.
- Jim Gold, president and chief merchandising officer at the Neiman Marcus Group, exits.
- REI president and CEO Jerry Stritzke resigns.
- Koichiro Kodama replaces Gene McCarthy as president and CEO of Asics North America.
- Clarks taps Giorgio Presca as CEO.
- Tom Ford is elected chairman of the CFDA.
- Hibbett Sports announces retirement of President and CEO Jeff Rosenthal.
- Fila North America appoints Jennifer Estabrook as president.
- StockX CEO Josh Luber hands over his post to Scott Cutler.
- Neal Newman leaves his role as president of Two Ten Footwear Foundation.
- Carlos Crespo is named Inditex’s new CEO.
- Tapestry announces departure of CEO Victor Luis, replaced by chairman Jide Zeitlin.
- American Apparel and Footwear Association president and CEO Rick Helfenbein is to exit, succeeded by EVP Stephen Lamar.
- Stephanie Pugliese joins Under Armour North America as president.
- Alibaba chairman Jack Ma steps down as CEO; Daniel Zhang takes over.
- Burlington Stores appoints Michael O’Sullivan as CEO.
- eBay president and CEO Devin Wenig departs; Scott Schenkel serves as interim CEO.
- Sequential Brands CEO Karen Murray steps down.
- John Furner takes over as Walmart U.S. president and CEO as Greg Foran steps down.
- Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is to step down, replaced by president and COO Patrik Frisk.
- Nike CEO Mark Parker is to leave his role, succeeded by John Donahoe.
- Barneys New York president and CEO Daniella Vitale departs.
- Genesco appoints Mimi Vaughn as president and CEO.
- Gap president and CEO Art Peck steps down.
- Le Tote names Ruth Hartman president of Lord + Taylor.
- Macy’s president Hal Lawton resigns.
- Topshop CEO Paul Price exits.
- Stitch Fix appoints Elizabeth Spaulding as president.
- Lululemon COO Stuart Haselden is leaving.
- Hibbett Sports makes Michael E. Longo president and CEO.
- Jori Miller Sherer takes over as president of Minnetonka as Scott Sessa joins Twisted X.
- Kering appoints Mehdi Benabadji as CEO of Brioni.
- Rockport confirms the departure of Javan Bunch as president.
CEOs Are Exiting Their Posts in Record Numbers