Industry Moves: September 2020

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.

Sept. 30, 2020: Harley Finkelstein is stepping into the president’s role at Shopify. He had been COO. “Harley is brilliant at representing Shopify’s beliefs and ambitions to our ecosystem—merchants, partners, investors, and beyond. We are the entrepreneurship company, and Harley will be an important catalyst in helping us find our next million merchants,” said Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke in a staement. Toby Shannan, chief support officer at the company, is assuming the COO role. And Craig Miller, chief product officer, is departing the company.

Sept. 30, 2020: PVH Corp. is moving forward with its planned leadership succession. The Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein parent has announced that president Stefan Larsson will take on the role of CEO, effective Feb. 1. He will succeed Manny Chirico, who has served in the post since 2006 and will continue as chairman of the board of directors. Larsson joined PVH last year in June, where, as president, he oversaw the company’s branded businesses and reported directly to Chirico. “It has been a privilege to work side by side with Manny in recent months, to learn firsthand how he has built PVH into one of the world’s most admired fashion and lifestyle companies,” Larsson said in a statement. “It is an honor to become the leader of this exceptional company, and as we move into a new chapter of growth for PVH, I look forward to continuing its evolution, building on our inherent strengths, getting closer to the consumer than ever before and working with an incredible team.” Previously, Larsson was CEO at Ralph Lauren Corp., as well as served in the position of global president of Old Navy, a division of Gap Inc.

Sept. 25, 2020: Patagonia Works has a new CEO: Ryan Gellert. The executive — who had overseen the organization’s business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2014 — now heads the holding company for Patagonia Inc., which offers apparel and equipment, as well as Patagonia Provisions and Patagonia Media. The firm is also parent to Lost Arrow Solutions (material innovation), Fletcher Chouinard Designs Inc. (surfboards), Tin Shed Ventures LLC (investments) and Worn Wear Inc. (used and upcycled apparel). In addition to the appointment, Patagonia’s board of directors also made two big changes within the company’s leadership team: Jenna Johnson, who previously led the firm’s technical outdoor business, will serve as head of Patagonia Inc., where she will oversee the brand’s apparel and equipment division. On the other hand, Lisa Williams, who joined Patagonia’s product team in 2001, will assume a new role as head of innovation, design and merchandising.

Ryan Gellert, Patagonia
Ryan Gellert, CEO of Patagonia Works.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Patagonia
Jenna Johnson, Patagonia
Jenna Johnson, head of Patagonia Inc.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Patagonia

Sept. 25, 2020: Dollar General has named Emily Taylor as EVP and chief merchandising officer, succeeding Jason Reiser. The new merchant, who formerly served as SVP of channel innovation, brings more than two decades of expertise to the role. Taylor joined the company in 1998, holding positions in investor relations, financial planning and analysis, merchandise planning, pricing and merchandising operations. In her new post, she is responsible for the strategy and execution of the retailer’s merchandising, marketing, global sourcing, merchandise operations and in-store experience efforts. Separately, Dollar General also announced that former SVP of store operations Tracey Herrmann will now serve as SVP of channel innovation. Kal Patel, formerly a VP and division manager, will be promoted to SVP of store operations.

Emily Taylor
Emily Taylor, EVP and chief merchandising officer at Dollar General.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Dollar General

Sept. 22, 2020: Dick’s Sporting Goods has appointed WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani as well as Boston Scientific Corporation SVP, general counsel and corporate secretary Desiree Ralls-Morrison to its board of directors. “Sandeep and Desiree are joining our board at a pivotal time in the company’s history, as we continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers, our employees and our other key stakeholders,” chairman and CEO Ed Stack said in a statement. “They bring a variety of relevant experiences to our board, and we are very confident their contributions will have a meaningful and lasting impact on our company.” Along with the announcement, Dick’s shared that Vincent Byrd and Allen Weiss have stepped down from the board, following a combined nearly 17 years of service.

Sept. 21, 2020: Lori Spicer Robertson has joined Saks Fifth Avenue as its first VP of diversity and inclusion. With the new appointment, announced in an exclusive by FN’s sister publication WWD, the new exec is tasked with “creating and leading strategic initiatives that foster a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion.” She reports to chief people officer Sarah Garber. According to WWD, Robertson most recently served as chief communications and engagement officer at United Way of the Mid-South, where she led D&I, as well as community and employee engagement, culture-shaping initiatives, plus marketing and communications.

Saks Fifth Avenue, diversity and inclusion executive, Lori Spicer Robertson
Saks Fifth Avenue’s new VP of diversity and inclusion, Lori Spicer Robertson.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Sept. 18, 2020: The TJX Companies Inc. announced that José B. Alvarez has been elected to its board of directors. He previously served on the retail group’s board from 2007 to 2018. Alvarez is a member of the faculty of the Harvard Business School, which he joined in 2009 following various senior executive roles in the food retail industry. “His range of experience, deep knowledge of the global retail industry and understanding of our company can bring valued insight into the boardroom and add to the strength and diversity of our board,” executive chairman of TJX’s board Carol Meyrowitz said in a statement.

Sept. 18, 2020: Valentino‘s general manager for the Middle East region has been promoted to the role of CEO of the Americas. Laurent Bergamo, whose appointment is effective immediately, will report to chief commercial officer Marco Giacometti. As part of his responsibilities, Bergamo will supervise the development of the luxury fashion house’s retail, wholesale and online distribution networks in the United States, Canada and Mexico. He has been replaced in his former post by Simone Bertolini.

Sept. 18, 2020: Gian Giacomo Ferraris is exiting his post as CEO of Roberto Cavalli. According to FN’s sister publication WWD, the exec announced the news to his team “with mixed feelings, which include some satisfaction, a bit of sadness and a few regrets.” Ferraris joined the company from Versace in 2016, succeeding Roberto Semerari. He departs the company at the end of the year.

Sept. 15, 2020: Chanel has promoted Agathe Derain to the new role of head of human rights and corporate sustainability. The executive started at the post on Sept. 1, reporting directly to global chief sustainability officer Andrea d’Avack. Derain, who was formerly responsible sourcing director at Chanel’s fragrance and beauty division, graduated from Essec Business School in France and also serves as a board member of nonprofit Human Resources Without Borders. For seven years starting 2010, she worked as senior manager in charge of sustainability and human rights at the French arm of Deloitte.

Sept. 15, 2020: Crocs has named a new president. Michelle Poole, who took over the post on Sept. 10, has been tasked with overseeing the brand’s Americas, Asia and Europe-Middle East-Africa regional commercial teams, as well as the product design and management, merchandising and marketing departments. Since April, Poole served as the company’s EVP and chief product and merchandising officer. Prior to that role, she held the positions of SVP plus product and merchandising chief. In addition to those responsibilities, she took over Crocs’ marketing functions in 2017.

Michelle Poole, president of Crocs
Crocs president Michelle Poole.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Crocs

Sept. 14, 2020: Matchesfashion has added two senior executives to its team: Sean Glithero as CFO and Jason Weston as COO. The new finance head, who previously served in the same role at Auto Traders Group and Funding Circle Holdings, will join the luxury retailer at the end of the month. Meanwhile, the operating chief previously worked at Amazon, where he held various leadership roles. He was also the COO at NotOnTheHighStreet.com.

Sept. 11, 2020: eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is stepping back from his board responsibilities and transitioning to the role of director emeritus. “For 25 years, I’ve watched with pride as the company I created enabled economic opportunity for people around the world,” he said. “With sound strategy and leadership in place, I can transition to the role of director emeritus with confidence.” The company also announced the appointment of Carol Hayles and Mohak Shroff to its board of directors, while Jesse Cohn will step down from the board, effective immediately.

Sept. 9, 2020: Chris Benz has departed J.Crew. The designer, who had overseen the brand’s womenswear since February last year, reportedly made his exit as the company emerges from the Chapter 11 process. He joined J.Crew following his studies at the Parsons School of Design before launching his namesake label. Although a replacement has yet to be named, sources who spoke with Business of Fashion said that CEO Jan Singer plans to hire Olympia Gayot, currently the VP of design at Victoria’s Secret — where Singer served as executive chief prior to joining the beleaguered specialty retailer.

Sept. 9, 2020: Kim Jones has been announced as the new artistic director of haute couture, ready-to-wear and fur collections for women at Fendi. He will continue in his current role as artistic director of Dior Men. In a statement released to FN, parent company LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault said, “Kim Jones is a great talent, and since joining he has continuously proven his ability to adapt to the codes and heritage of the LVMH houses while revisiting them with great modernity and audacity. At Fendi I am convinced that his vision and passion will highly contribute to the success of the women’s collections.”

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
CREDIT: Brett Lloyd

Sept. 9, 2020: Jennifer Foyle has been promoted to the role of chief creative officer at American Eagle Outfitters Inc. Effectively immediately, her appointment involves oversight of merchandising, design and marketing for the American Eagle brand in addition to her existing responsibilities as Aerie’s global band president. Foyle has more than 26 years of experience in the apparel retail industry, beginning her career at Bloomingdale’s and subsequently holding positions at Gap Inc. and J.Crew. Prior to joining Aerie in 2010, she was the president of Calypso St. Barth. With her new appointment, the exec will directly report to Jay Schottenstein, AEO’s CEO and executive chairman of the board.

Jennifer Foyle, American Eagle Outfitters
Jennifer Foyle, chief creative officer at AEO Inc.
CREDIT: Courtesy of AEO Inc.

Sept. 8, 2020: Nordstrom has hired a men’s fashion and editorial director. In a post on Twitter, former editorial director of Highsnobiety Jian DeLeon announced his appointment to the new post. He will oversee all categories in the store’s men’s department, including apparel and footwear, as well as activewear and designer lines. He reports to Nordstrom’s VP and creative director, Red Godfrey.

Sept. 4, 2020: Under Armour announced the appointment of Wes Moore, the CEO of poverty-fighting nonprofit Robin Hood Foundation, to its board of directors, effective Oct. 1. “Wes is a strategic thinker and dynamic leader whose unique expertise at the cutting-edge of finance, technology, and philanthropy will prove invaluable for Under Armour,” company executive chairman and brand chief Kevin Plank said in a statement. Prior to Robin Hood Foundation, Moore was the founder and CEO of technology and coaching platform BridgeEdU, which was acquired by student financial services company Edquity in 2019.

Wes Moore
Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood Foundation, has been appointed to Under Armour’s board of directors.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Under Armour

Sept. 3, 2020: Maison Margiela has tapped Tanja Ruhnke as its new chief marketing officer, according to FN’s sister publication WWD. The communications executive takes on the role this week and will report to incoming CEO Gianfranco Gianangeli, who starts later in the month. Prior to joining the French fashion house, Ruhnke served as Valentino’s VP of communications in North America. She also held the posts of VP of global branding and communications at Alexander Wang, as well as VP of public relations at KCD in Paris.

Sept. 3, 2020: Former Ralph Lauren executive Jérôme Espinos has been named the president of French Legacy Group, which is controlled by the Mirabaud Patrimoine Vivant private equity fund. The conglomerate recently snapped up Robert Clergerie from First Heritage Brands and fashion exec Jean-Marc Loubier. Espinos, a veteran leader in the shoe industry, seeks to emphasize “Made in France” craftsmanship as he takes the reins. French Legacy Group also now owns the labels Avril Gau and Violet Tomas.

Sept. 2, 2020: Target has named Maurice Cooper as its senior vice president of marketing. As part of the role, he will lead the strategy and execution of brand, category and promotions marketing across the company’s paid, owned and shared media, as well as oversee key campaigns. Cooper joins the company on Sept. 14 and will report to EVP and chief marketing, digital and strategy officer Rick Gomez.

Sept. 1, 2020: LVMH‘s North America division has appointed Corey Smith to the new role of VP of diversity and inclusion. He previously served in the same title at the Major League Baseball and now reports to Gena Smith, SVP of human resources and head of global executive and creative recruitment at the luxury fashion conglomerate. Prior to the MLB, Smith worked at NBC Universal, Altria Corporate Services and his alma mater, Columbia University.

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