Industry Moves: February 2019

Feb. 28, 2019: Rack Room Shoes has named Melanie Ortlieb to the post of director of merchandising, succeeding Dan Crawford who is retiring after two decades with the retailer. Most recently, Ortlieb served as a merchandising manager in the apparel division of Family Dollar, and has held positions with The Limited, DSW, Inc., and Lane Bryant brands. In her new role, Ortlieb will collaborate with category and brand leaders to create and execute strategic seasonal merchandise planning. She will also be responsible for the overall financial direction for the merchant category and identifying planning improvements.

Feb. 28, 2019: Three senior executive roles have been filled at JCPenney. The retailer announced the appointment of Michelle Wlazlo to the post of EVP, chief merchant, effective March 1. Wlazlo, who brings 30 years of merchandising and stores experience to the chain, will report directly to CEO Jill Soltau. She is joined by 25-year retail veteran John Welling, who starts immediately as SVP of planning and allocation, as well as Mark Stinde, who will begin his role as SVP of asset protection on March 4.

Feb. 27, 2019: Adidas has named Martin Shankland head of global operations, effective March 4. The board member, who has worked at the German sportswear brand for 22 years, replaces Gil Steyaert, who exited the company to pursue new career opportunities. Shankland joined Adidas in 1997 and most recently held the role of managing director for emerging markets.

Feb. 26, 2019: Hudson’s Bay Co. has announced that Alison Coville will step down from her post as president of Hudson’s Bay and Home Outfitters, effective March 1. The company has retained an executive search firm in its hunt for her replacement. In the meantime, Hudson’s Bay will be led by executives from the HBC team under the direction of CEO Helena Foulkes.

Feb. 26, 2019: J.Crew has appointed Chris Benz as head of women’s design and the brand’s Crewcuts children’s collection. He joins the company from Bill Blass, where he served as creative director since 2015. A familiar face at J.Crew, Benz previously worked at the specialty retailer as a designer on the women’s team from January 2005 to mid-2006. He will report to the interim leadership team in the office of the CEO as J.Crew continues its search for a new CEO following Jim Brett’s departure last fall.

Feb. 26, 2019: Amazon has elected former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to its board of directors. The executive, who stepped down in October after 12 years spearheading the food and beverage company, also joins the e-tail giant’s audit committee. The board now has 11 members, with Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer added to the team in early February.

Feb. 25, 2019: Clarks has tapped Giorgio Presca as CEO, effective next month. Presca will be responsible for all operational, financial and commercial aspects of the business. Presca was most recently CEO at Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, and between 2012 and 2016, he headed up Geox.

Feb. 21, 2019: Salvatore Ferragamo has promoted Paul Andrew to the post of creative director. “I am thrilled by the opportunity and humbled by the challenge to contribute to the future of Salvatore Ferragamo and further realize the dreams of its founder,” Andrew said. Guillaume Meilland will maintain his role as men’s ready-to-wear design director and assume the additional responsibility of studio director, coordinating the development of all categories under Andrew’s leadership.

Feb. 21, 2019: Asics North America has announced a new director of run specialty sales today. Kevin McHale, a 13-year footwear industry veteran who last worked for New Balance, will assume the role. The brand said McHale will manage the run specialty business and drive strategic brand initiatives with key accounts.

Feb. 19, 2019: Camtrade LLC, parent company of the Soft Comfort and Secret Celebrity shoe brands, has appointed Gene DeCristofaro as president, to oversee all sales, design and development for the company. An industry veteran, DeCristofaro was most recently with The Rockport Co., and also has worked at Clarks, Bostonian and Earth Shoes. He will report to Camtrade CEO ­­­­­­Frank Cammarata.

Feb. 14, 2019: Sandal brand Hari Mari has named Jake Szczepanski, co-founder and former CEO of Billy Reid, to its board of directors. Szczepanski founded the apparel label in 1998, which currently operates its own chain of stores in addition to sales through wholesale accounts.

Feb. 13, 2019: Asics announced today that Gene McCarthy, who assumed the role of president and CEO of its North American business in October 2015, is out. The company said he has been replaced by Koichiro Kodama. The brand also named other changes to its North American leadership including the appointment of Richard Sullivan to EVP of sales, categories and marketing, Craig Gillan to VP of operations and Paul Ljucovic to VP of finance.

Feb 12, 2019: Macy’s Inc. has named company veteran Patti Ongman as the new chief merchandising officer of the Macy’s brand, effective March 1. She succeeds Jeff Kantor, who previously announced his decision to retire. Ongman currently serves as Macy’s EVP and general business manager for home merchandise. In her new role, she will be responsible for leading Macy’s Merchandising, with oversight of merchandising, private brands and planning for the company’s five ‘families-of-business’ (ready-to-wear, center core, beauty, men’s and kid’s, and home). To date, Ongman has been with the department store for 33 years.

Feb. 12, 2019: REI president and CEO Jerry Stritzke has resigned today following the conclusion of investigation surrounding a “personal and consensual relationship”  between the executive and the leader of another organization in the outdoor industry. Stritzke will exit the co-op on March 15 and REI COO Eric Artz will take on the role of interim CEO, effective immediately.

Feb. 11, 2019: Industry veteran Jon Caplan, CEO of Johnston & Murphy and Genesco Inc.‘s Branded Group, has announced his retirement after 16 years leading the historic J&M brand and more than 36 years in the shoe business. His exit is effective as of the end of June. Succeeding him is Danny Ewoldsen, who was named president of Johnston & Murphy in January 2018 and previously served as EVP of retail and e-commerce.

Feb. 6, 2019: Apple‘s head of retail and online stores, Angela Ahrendts, is stepping down from the company in April “for new personal and professional pursuits.” The former CEO of Burberry joined the tech giant five years ago, becoming its only female senior executive, and was viewed as a potential successor to CEO Tim Cook. Deirdre O’Brien, who is in charge of human resources and has been with Apple since 1998, has been named Ahrendts’ replacement, with the title of SVP of retail and people.

Feb. 5, 2019: Academy Sports + Outdoors tapped former Francesca’s CEO Steven Lawrence as EVP and chief merchandising officer. He will oversee buying, planning and allocation, pricing and sourcing. “Steve will lead the company in our efforts to be the power merchandiser of sports and outdoors,” said Ken Hicks, Academy’s chairman, president and CEO. “His depth of retail experience, focus on sales and execution, and overall leadership style will serve us well as we execute our new long-range plan.”

Feb. 5, 2019: Neiman Marcus has announced the appointment of David Goubert as EVP of stores and retail experience, and Ginger Mollo as SVP of retail experience on the West Coast. The new hires come as the department store chain seeks to transform into a luxury customer platform. Goubert, who is responsible for creating personalized experiences for shoppers, reports directly to CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck. Mollo, who joins Neiman Marcus after 18 years at Apple, will report to Goubert.

Feb. 4, 2019: Outdoor Voices has named Pamela Catlett its president and COO. Working with founder and CEO Tyler Haney, the industry veteran is tasked with driving market leadership and boosting growth for all aspects of the company. Catlett previously held the role of SVP and group GM of the women’s and youth categories at Under Armour. Before that, she spent more than 13 years at Nike, serving as the VP and GM of the Women’s Training division and Amplify category for two years, and VP of investor relations for 11 years.

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