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Industry Moves: Keds Names New VP of Global Product + More Changes at J.Crew and Gap

Who’s in, who’s out, who’s been promoted and hired — FN covers all the industry changes in one place. Know of an executive on the move? Tell us web@footwearnews.com.

Nov. 25, 2020: J.Crew Group has swapped CEOs for the third time in three years. The company tapped Libby Wadle for the top post, overseeing its namesake and Factory banners in addition to Madewell. She succeeds Jan Singer, who departed the company “to pursue other endeavors.” Wadle has more than 25 years of experience in the retail industry, and she spent the last 16 years holding various senior management roles at J.Crew Group. Most recently, she served as president and then CEO of Madewell. She joined the business in 2004 as VP of J.Crew Factory.

Nov. 25, 2020: Gap Inc. has made two big executive appointments: The retail group announced that Asheesh Saksena will join its senior leadership team as chief growth officer — a newly created post focused on executing the company’s strategic agenda, as well as leading growth initiatives for the future. In addition, it named Sandra Stangl to the position of president and CEO of Banana Republic.

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Nov. 24, 2020: Wolverine World Wide announced that Jennifer Lynch has been named VP of global product for its Keds brand. Lynch most recently was GM of global apparel merchandising at New Balance. In her new role, she will manage the design, product development and product management for Keds, and will report directly to Bornie Del Priore, global brand president of Keds and the Wolverine Worldwide Kids Group.

Nov. 24, 2020: Courtney Bonnell Bradarich has been appointed as VP of events for Coterie, Informa Markets Fashion’s contemporary women’s trade event. With 15 years of industry experience, Bradarich was previously co-founder and president of the consulting firm Favors Agency, where she advised brands such as Collina Strada, Dusen Dusen, Minkpink and Cacharel. At Informa, she will help forge new partnerships and expand the Coterie event portfolio for its digital trade show, which will return in early 2021.

Nov. 24, 2020: Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. has named current president Lauren Hobart as its new CEO, effective Feb. 1. She succeeds Edward Stack, who will become executive chairman and retain his role as chief merchant at the company. The appointment is part of Dick’s long-term succession plan, undertaken by Stack and the board of directors. Hobart has more than 25 years of experience in the finance, consumer and retail spaces, as well as spent 14 years in various leadership positions at PepsiCo before she joined Dick’s as CMO in 2011. She was appointed president in 2017 and joined the board of directors the following year.

Nov. 23, 2020: Macy’s Inc. has appointed Malek Robert Amirshahi as its SVP of corporate communications, effective Dec. 7. The executive succeeds Cheryl Heinonen, who is departing the company following the holiday season to relocate back home in the West Coast. In his new role, Amirshahi — a 20-year veteran of the media and telecommunications industry — will be responsible for leading both internal and external communications across the enterprise, as well as drive messaging across business strategy, transformation and culture initiatives. He will report to chief transformation and human resources officer Danielle Kirgan.

Nov. 20, 2020: Lululemon Athletica Inc. has announced the promotion of Meghan Frank to the post of CFO, effective Nov. 23. Frank — who joined the company four years ago as SVP of financial planning and analysis — becomes the activewear giant’s first female finance chief. She has more than two decades of experience in the retail industry and served as interim co-CFO since April.

Nov. 20, 2020: Avery Baker has rejoined Tommy Hilfiger. The executive, who stepped down from the role of chief brand officer last June to focus on family, returns in the same post plus that of president. She is responsible for the brand’s products, marketing and experiences across all categories, regions and channels. Baker’s entry into the brand occurred in 1998; since then, she has held multiple posts across its global offices, including that of chief marketing officer.

Avery Baker, President and Chief Brand Officer, Tommy Hilfiger Global
Avery Baker, president and chief brand officer at Tommy Hilfiger.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger

Nov. 20, 2020: Eric Wise, VP of product marketing for Adidas Originals Inline Footwear, has been promoted to VP and GM of basketball and will lead the company’s global basketball organization. Wise’s appointment comes as the company confirmed that, next spring, it will merge the lifestyle and performance functions of its basketball division to create one “Adidas basketball team” in an effort to “react even quicker to the needs of our basketball consumers globally.” The company is also exploring exploring a new home base for this division in Los Angeles, one of its key strategic cities for basketball.

eric wise adidas
Eric Wise, VP and GM of basketball at Adidas.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas

Nov. 18, 2020: Mark Denkler has been named president of the National Shoe Retailers Association, effective Jan. 1, 2021, taking over for Chuck Schuyler, who is retiring after 15 years with the organization. Denkler, who started his career in banking, took over ownership in 1994 of his family’s retail business, Vince Canning Shoes in Delray Beach, Fla. He was elected to the NSRA board of directors in 2004 and has twice served as chairman of the board (in 2011-2013 and 2019-2020). “Denkler is the perfect choice to take the NSRA to the next level,” Schuyler said in a statement. “With his many years of experience as a banker, retailer and active member of the association, he understands our industry, the NSRA and our members. He will be able to address the needs of the independent retailers and footwear vendors as we address new challenges in the coming years.” Going forward, Denkler will remain in Florida and the NSRA will continue to be located in Tucson, Ariz.

Nov. 17, 2020: K-Swiss announced the appointment today of Dave Malinowski to the director of tennis role. Malinowski will be tasked with managing its specialty tennis business, which includes maintaining sales momentum and finding new areas of growth. He will report to K-Swiss brand president Barney Waters. Malinowski held several positions within the athletic market prior to joining K-Swiss including Adidas, where he most recently served as its senior director of specialty sports, as well as Prince and Wilson.

Nov. 16, 2020: Sperry, a division of Wolverine World Wide Inc., has named Elizabeth Drori as chief marketing officer, to lead the brand’s global marketing, digital advertising, creative services and social media efforts. She will report to global brand president Joelle Grunberg. Before joining Sperry, Drori most recently was head of marketing for Walmart’s fashion business, where she helped launch the Scoop, Free Assembly and Sofia Jeans by Sofia Vergara lines. Prior to that, she held multiple roles at Converse.

Elizabeth Drori Sperry
Elizabeth Drori has been named chief marketing officer of Sperry.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sperry

Nov. 12, 2020: Adidas announced Vicky Free will assume the SVP of global marketing role, effective Jan. 4, 2021. In the role, she will be tasked with leading Adidas’ commercial and brand success through developing compelling consumer brand stories. Free will be based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, and report to executive board member of Adidas AG Brian Grevy. Prior to joining Adidas, Free has led omnichannel marketing teams during her 20-plus year career at Walt Disney, McDonald’s, Time Warner and Viacom.

Adidas Vicky Free SVP of global marketing role
Vicky Free, the Adidas SVP of global marketing as of January 2021.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas

Nov. 12, 2020: Ecco has named Erik Walcott to its global head of specialty sales role, effective immediately. Walcott — who worked at Ecco from 2005 to 2014 — will be tasked with overseeing global sales for Ecco’s outdoor division. Ecco Global head of outdoor Nikolai Christensen from the brand’s headquarters in Denmark. Prior to his return to Ecco, Walcott most recently was the VP of sales for Rumpl, and before that he was the sales director for the west at Keen for more than four years.

Erik Walcott Ecco
Erik Walcott, Ecco global head of specialty sales.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Ecco

Nov. 11, 2020: Selfridges & Co. has tapped Andrew Keith as managing director, according to FN’s sister publication WWD. It shared that the new hire will join the high-end chain in February and report to Selfridges Group managing director Anne Pitcher. Keith most recently served as president of Lane Crawford and Joyce in Hong Kong. “With Andrew’s knowledge and experience in creating exciting physical and digital destinations and of successfully leading a 170 year-old business in a rapidly changing market, we can look forward to exploring new opportunities under his leadership as we continue to reinvent retail,” Pitcher said in a statement obtained by WWD.

Nov. 10, 2020: Kate Spade New York has appointed a new CMO. Jenny Campbell is joining the company with more than two decades of experience in marketing: She most recently served in the post of marketing chief at online dating app Tinder and previously spent seven years at Nike, where she worked in global marketing in its women’s division, as well as brand innovation and in the tech space of Nike+. She also held leadership positions at advertising agencies Wieden+Kennedy and 72andSunny. In her new role, Campbell is responsible for all aspects of brand marketing, focusing on direct-to-consumer strategy and engagement, as well as digital community-building. She will oversee teams across Kate Spade’s marketing strategy, brand creative, digital marketing and public relations departments.

Kate Spade CMO Jenny Campbell
Kate Spade CMO Jenny Campbell.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Kate Spade

Nov. 6, 2020: H&M has announced the appointment of Leyla Ertur as its new head of sustainability. Starting January, she will take over the post from from Anna Gedda, who has led the company’s sustainability initiatives since 2014 and will take on a new role as head of steering and strategic planning at the retailer. Since joining H&M in 2000, Ertur has worked in multiple continents and led teams across a variety of areas, including HR, production and global supply chain management. She has worked extensively in production countries where the Sweden-based chain operates and most recently has held a dual position as regional country manager production in Europe and head of global quality strategy and compliance.

H&M head of sustainability Leyla Ertur
H&M head of sustainability Leyla Ertur.
CREDIT: Courtesy of H&M

Nov. 3, 2020: Pentland Brands has appointed Kev McFadyen as the global brand director for its Speedo brand. McFadyen was previously brand director for the company’s Berghaus label. He previously held posts at Red Bull, Heineken, O2 and Nando’s. In his new role, McFadyen will be responsible for leading the Speedo brand, including global product and marketing. “Kev has a passion for sport and outstanding credentials in building brands across multiple industries,” said Chirag Patel, CEO of Pentland Brands. “We know that he will bring an exciting new perspective to Speedo and will seize the moment in making [the brand] matter more to consumers in an Olympic year.”

Kev McFadyen
Kev McFadyen is Speedo’s new global brand director.

Nov. 2, 2020: Genesco Inc. SVP and CFO Melvin Tucker has resigned, effective Nov. 27. The exec, who intends to pursue an opportunity outside of the company, will assist in the transition as the Journeys parent begins its executive search for a new CFO. In the interim, board chair, president and CEO Mimi Vaughn — who previously served as financial chief — will assume the role’s responsibilities. She will also oversee a newly established Office of the CFO, which will be co-led by VP and chief accounting officer Brently Baxter, VP and treasurer Matthew Johnson and VP of financial planning and analysis and investor relations Dave Slater.

Genesco CFO Mel Tucker.
Genesco’s Mel Tucker.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Genesco

Nov. 2, 2020: VF Corp. has announced the appointment of Lauren Guthrie to the post of VP of global inclusion and diversity. The new exec will be responsible for leading the Vans owner’s I&D initiatives around the world, as well as directing and developing its strategy “with a focus on transformational change.” She previously served as VF’s VP of Council to Advance Racial Equity (or CARE) and inclusion and diversity for the Americas, as well as helped establish a network of employee resource groups centered on the needs of underrepresented workers across the company. Prior to her involvement in VF’s D&I efforts, Guthrie served as VP of regional merchandising for the Americas at The North Face.

Lauren Guthrie VF Corp
Lauren Guthrie
CREDIT: Courtesy of VF

Big Moves Last Month

Oct. 30, 2020: Columbia Sportswear Company has announced a series of senior leadership changes: EVP and COO Thomas Cusick is stepping down in February and plans to transition to a part-time role with the company as he prepares for retirement in the second half of the year. What’s more, SVP of global supply chain operations and manufacturing Lisa Kulok will become EVP and chief supply chain officer, while SVP and CFO Jim Swanson will take on the post of EVP (and retain his title as financial chief). Both Kulok and Swanson will report directly to president and CEO Tim Boyle. In addition, VP of apparel manufacturing Brent Beeson has been named SVP of manufacturing, reporting to Kulok.

Oct. 29, 2020: Saks Off Fifth, a subsidiary of Hudson’s Bay Co., has made two key executive appointments: Molly Taylor has been named chief merchant, and Kate Brems has been tapped for SVP of planning, both effective Nov. 16. Taylor, who joins Saks Off Fifth from Century 21 Department Stores LLC, where she served as chief merchandising officer, will oversee merchant organization and guide the company’s buying decisions. Prior to Century 21, she spent more than 10 years at Nordstrom Inc. Brems, who will lead Saks Off 5th’s planning organization and guide its efforts to be customer centric in all aspects of its end-to-end merchandising processes, joins the retailer from PVH Corp., where she most recently served as SVP, head of merchandise planning, operations and digital sales. Brems began her career at Saks Fifth Avenue, where she held roles of increasing responsibility in buying and planning.

Oct. 28, 2020: Centric Brands Inc. has appointed Marc Schneider as chairman of its board of directors. Schneider, who has 35 years of experience in the retail and wholesale industries, was most recently CEO of Kenneth Cole Productions, where he was responsible for its retail, outlet, e-commerce, international, licensing and wholesale businesses. Prior to Kenneth Cole, he served as group president of the heritage brands at PVH Corp., as well as in senior executive and officer roles at Timberland, Macy’s and Melville Corporation/Bob’s Stores.

Oct. 27, 2020: Tapestry Inc. has named Joanne Crevoiserat as its new CEO. Crevoiserat has served as the company’s interim CEO since July, following the resignation of Jide Zeitlin, who stepped down that same month citing personal reasons. Crevoiserat served as EVP and COO Abercrombie & Fitch Co. from February 2017 to June 2019 and joined Tapestry in August 2019 as CFO. She is expected to be appointed as a member of Tapestry’s board of directors at the next scheduled board meeting.

Oct. 16, 2020: Asics Corp. has announced multiple executive moves, including the appointment of Richard Sullivan to the president and COO roles for its North America business. Sullivan, who joined the brand in 2016 as the president of Asics Canada, last served as the North America EVP. Other changes to the Asics’ North America leadership include Barbara Turner assuming the chief administrative officer role and Sean Condon being named VP of omnichannel. These changes are effective Nov. 1. Also, the current CEO of Asics North America, Koichiro Kodama, will assume a new global role as Asics’ managing executive officer. (The post will be based in Kobe, Japan.) Plus, in January 2021, Naomichi Hatori will become the EVP of strategy for Asics North America.

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