Industry Moves: Longtime Amazon Exec Steve Kessel to Exit — Plus More Big Changes

Nov. 14, 2019: After more than 20 years at Amazon, Steve Kessel, an SVP at the e-tail behemoth, has decided to leave Amazon to focus on community service, not-for-profit work and other interests, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to FN today. “Steve will be missed — he’s a customer-obsessed leader who has helped build some of Amazon’s most innovative businesses, including Kindle, Amazon Go and others,” the spokesperson said. Kessel will exit his post in early January 2020. His enterprise within Amazon, including its current bench of leaders, will report up through Dave Clark, SVP of operations.

Nov. 11, 2019: Richard Chai has been named SVP and creative director of Club Monaco, a division of Ralph Lauren Corp., WWD reports. The appointment is effective Nov. 18. He succeeds Steven Cateron, creative director and SVP of design, who had been with the company for more than a decade in various roles.

Nov. 11, 2019: Cross-border commerce platform eShopWorld announced two senior management team appointments: Conor O’Kane joined the company as chief information officer and David Manifold has been hired as chief financial officer. Both executives will report to CEO Tommy Kelly. O’Kane joins eShopWorld after serving as head of technology for e-commerce and mobile platforms at Travelport. Manifold most recently served as group CFO at Oasis Group.

Nov. 8, 2019: Fashion rental subscription service Le Tote has completed its acquisition of Lord + Taylor and named Ruth Hartman, currently its chief merchandising officer, the new president of Lord + Taylor. Hartman previously held executive positions at Macy’s, DSW and Le Tote. Brian Hoke will remain on as Lord + Taylor’s chief merchandising officer, alongside Robert Wehrle as SVP of stores. Additionally, Bari Harlam, HBC chief marketing officer, and Nick Cavallaro, HBC VP of corporate development, have joined the Le Tote board of directors. With the deal closure, Le Tote assumed operations of 38 stores, Lord + Taylor’s digital channels and inventory spanning women’s, men’s and kids apparel, shoes, beauty, handbags and accessories and more.

ruth hartman lord and taylor
Ruth Hartman is Lord + Taylor’s new president.
CREDIT: Courtesy

Nov. 7, 2019: The Gap Inc. announced that president and CEO Art Peck will step down from his position and from the company’s board. Peck will depart from the company after a brief transition. Effective immediately, Robert Fisher, the company’s current nonexecutive chairman of the board, will also serve as president and chief executive officer on an interim basis. Additionally, Gap’s board has appointed Bobby Martin, chair of its compensation and management development committee, as lead independent director. The news follows the decision, announced February, to split Gap, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix and Hill City from Old Navy and create two separate publicly traded companies. For years, as Gap struggled amid the shifting retail landscape, Old Navy had been a bright spot for the company, successfully luring in budget-focused consumers.

art peck gap
Art Peck
CREDIT: The Gap Inc.

Nov. 7, 2019: Two months after hiring its first-ever chief marketing officer, StockX announced it has secured executive John Kaelle for a position the company hadn’t had before: CFO. According to the “stock market of things,” the new StockX position marks Kaelle’s return to Detroit, where his financial career began in 1992. Since then, he has amassed more than 25 years of professional experience in the San Francisco Bay Area, including stints at Mesosphere and Marin Software, and at Shutterfly, where he directed finance, accounting and investor relations.

Nov. 4, 2019: Genesco has appointed Mimi Vaughn as president and CEO, effective Feb. 2. The exec, who currently serves as SVP and COO, has also been elected to the company’s board of directors. She succeeds Chairman, President and CEO Robert Dennis, who will continue to serve as executive chairman. Vaughn joined the specialty retail group in 2003 as VP of strategy and business development, rising through the ranks in various roles to become COO in January 2018, at role she assumed officially in May.

Nov. 1, 2019: Barneys New York president and CEO Daniella Vitale has announced her departure while the luxury retailer finds a new owner in Authentic Brands Group. In an email sent to staffers this morning and obtained by FN’s sister publication WWD, the exec wrote that it was with “deep regret” that she tendered her resignation. “Please know we did everything we could to avoid this situation and protect the Barneys brand,” she added. Vitale joined Barneys in 2010 as EVP and chief merchant, working her way up to the CEO slot in 2017 when she unveiled an ambitious plan to recalibrate the business.

Daniella VitaleProject Cat fundraiser at Rag & Bone, New York, USA - 26 Jul 2017
Daniella Vitale.
CREDIT: Rex (Shutterstock)

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