Industry Moves: November 2019

Nov. 27, 2019: CEO Stefano Biondo is departing Italian fashion house Marni, reported FN’s sister publication WWD. Succeeding him is Barbara Calò, who was named global omnichannel retail director in 2016. Biondo joined the team in May 2018.

Nov. 22, 2019: Asics has a new CEO for its Europe, Middle East and Africa region. According to multiple reports, the athletic company appointed Carsten Unbehaun, who most recently served as the CEO of Asics-owned Swedish outdoor equipment maker Haglöfs, to the EMEA leadership role. Unbehaun replaced Alistair Cameron, who had been with the company for 10 years.

Nov. 21, 2019: Former Barneys New York CEO Daniella Vitale has been named chief brand officer at Tiffany & Co. According to FN’s sister publication WWD, the new exec, who starts on Dec. 1, is tasked with overseeing the luxury jeweler’s merchandising and marketing efforts. She will report directly to CEO Alessandro Bogliolo. Vitale exited her role at Barneys following its sale to Authentic Brands Group in early November.

Barneys Daniella Vitale
Barneys New York CEO and president Daniella Vitale.
CREDIT: Barneys New York

Nov. 18, 2019: Walmart has appointed Kathryn McLay to the top role at its Sam’s Club warehouse business. The new CEO has held several executive posts at the retail giant since 2015, starting as its VP of finance and strategy in the U.S. and most recently serving as EVP of its U.S. Neighborhood Markets division. She replaced John Furner, who was promoted to CEO of Walmart U.S., following Greg Foran’s exit in mid-October.

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: Shutterstock

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