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Welcome to On the Move. Every week, The Current is rounding up the coming and goings of leaders at brands and retailers across the ecommerce, retail and CPG landscape.
This week, adidas hired Puma’s CEO, while Levi’s tapped Kohl’s CEO to become its next leader. Plus, check out new C-level appointments at Mondelez, Rothy’s, LTK and Cotopaxi.
Bjørn Gulden was tapped to be the next CEO of adidas, and will take the helm at the beginning of 2023. He will succeed Kasper Rorsted in the top job at the German sportswear giant, following an announcement over the summer that Rorsted would step down after six years at the helm. Gulden has served as CEO of Puma since 2013, where he is credited with leading a turnaround effort. He also has previous experience with adidas as SVP of apparel and accessories from 1992-1999, and has held senior roles at jewelry brand Pandora and Rack Room Shoes.
Arne Freundt, in turn, was promoted to the role of CEO of Puma, succeeding Gulden after he resigned to take on the adidas CEO role. Freundt has been at Puma for more than a decade. He will begin in the CEO role on Jan. 1, 2023, Puma said in a brief statement.
Michelle Gass was appointed to the role of president at Levi Strauss & Co., and is set to become CEO of the apparel company within the next 18 months. In turn, Gass is resigning from the CEO role at Kohl’s, which she has held since 2013. As president at Levi Strauss, Gass will oversee the Levi’s brand, as well as the company’s digital and commercial operations. A news release cited her “exceptional direct-to-consumer experience,” and leadership of a turnaround effort at Kohl’s that included expansion of the department store chain’s digital business. Gass will succeed current Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh following a transition. At Kohl’s, Tom Kingsbury will serve as interim CEO until a permanent successor is named.
Gina Boswell was hired as CEO of Bath & Body Works. She brings more than 30 years of experience to the leading role at the beauty and personal care retailer, having worked at Unilever, Alberto Culver Company and The Estee Lauder Companies. At Unilever, Boswell served as EVP of personal care for North America, head of UK & Ireland and president of customer development for Unilever USA. Boswell succeeds Sarah Nash, who has served as interim CEO since May.
Tuesday Morning announced a series of leadership changes that will reshape its C-suite. This comes after Pier 1 and Dressbarn owner Retail Ecommerce Ventures acquired a majority interest in the offprice home goods retailer in September. The moves are as follows:
- Andrew T. Berger, the former CEO of Cosi and Autoscope Technologies Corporation, was named CEO at Tuesday Morning. He will succeed Fred Hand, who is retiring.
- Bill Baumann, who is currently the company’s chief information and marketing officer, will become COO, interim CFO and assume chief merchant responsibilities.
- Current COO and interim CFO Mark Katz is retiring.
- Current Chief Merchant Paul Metcalf is retiring.
Rafeh Masood is stepping down as chief customer and technology officer at Bed Bath & Beyond. “Mr. Masood’s resignation was not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices or financial statements,” the company stated in a regulatory filing. It comes after a wave of executive departures this year at the home retailer, including former CEO Mark Tritton in June. The company is now being led by Sue Gove, who was named to the permanent CEO role after a stint as interim leader.
Mondelez International, the snacks company that oversees Ritz and Oreo, announced a series of personnel moves on its third quarter earnings call:
- Sandra MacQuillan will retire as chief supply chain officer after three years with the company.
- Frank Cervi will become chief supply chain operations officer, bringing more than 30 years of experience to the role.
- Rob Hargrove will be retiring as chief R&D officer after 34 years.
- Daniel Ramos is the new chief R&D officer, bringing experience from The Estée Lauder Companies, where he put a strong focus on sustainable packaging.
Rothy’s, the brand that makes shoes, handbags and accessories from recycled materials, announced a pair of executive hires, and shared a pair of leadership updates.
- Heather Archibald was named chief product and merchandising officer, bringing experience from Title Nine, Restoration Hardware and Gap, Inc.
- Jamie Gersch was appointed chief marketing officer, bringing 20 years of experience from Gap, Inc., most recently as SVP and CMO of Old Navy.
- Dayna Quanbeck, who is CFO, will take on the additional role of COO, overseeing the deployment of growth capital.
- Heather Howard will become chief supply chain officer, extending a focus on operations that has been honed over five years with the brand.
Apple will see a pair of executive-level departures, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar. They are as follows:
- Anna Matthiasson is set to depart the tech company as VP of online retail.
- Mary Demby is retiring from the role of chief information officer after three decades with the company.
Nicole Sokol joined Haus Labs by Lady Gaga as VP of product development, Happi reported. Sokol brings more than 15 years of experience at brands such as Makeup by Mario, MAC, Revlon, Avon and Alamay.
Rachel Jones was promoted to the role of SVP, chief product innovation and science officer at GNC. Jones joined the nutrition retailer in 2004. She will now oversee product development, product brand strategy, scientific affairs and innovation.
Nicola Formichetti is partnering with Claire’s to become creative director in residence. The fashion director and futurist will collaborate on content, a partnership with V Magazine and the opening of a new Paris store with the accessories and jewelry retailer. All of these collaborations are aimed at deepening ties between Claire’s and Gen Zalpha.
Jeremy Paterson is joiningLTK, the creator-guided shopping platform, as general manager of international, leading growth in Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific. It comes as LTK recently expanded to Italy, Spain, The Netherlands and New Zealand. Paterson previously led international operations from Groupon, and held operational roles at Amazon and eBay.
Trending in Careers
Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.
When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.
That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The decline has been building over the entire year, as imports dipped in the winter. With the spring, volume started to rebound. In April, the major ports handled 1.78 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units. That was an increase of 9.6% from March. Still it was a decline of 21.3% year over year – reflecting the record cargo hauled in over the spike in consumer demand of 2021 and the inventory glut 2022.
In 2023, consumer spending is remaining resilient with in a strong job market, despite the collision of inflation and interest rates. The economy remains different from pre-pandemic days, but shipping volumes are beginning to once again resemble the time before COVID-19.
“Economists and shipping lines increasingly wonder why the decline in container import demand is so much at odds with continuous growth in consumer demand,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, in a statement. “Import container shipments have returned the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 and appear likely to stay there for a while.”
Retailers and logistics professionals alike are looking to the second half of the year for a potential upswing. Peak shipping season occurs in the summer, which is in preparation for peak shopping season over the holidays.
Yet disruption could occur on the West Coast if labor issues can’t be settled. This week, ports from Los Angeles to Seattle reported closures and slowdowns as ongoing union disputes boil over, CNBC reported. NRF called on the Biden administration to intervene.
“Cargo volume is lower than last year but retailers are entering the busiest shipping season of the year bringing in holiday merchandise. The last thing retailers and other shippers need is ongoing disruption at the ports,” aid NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If labor and management can’t reach agreement and operate smoothly and efficiently, retailers will have no choice but to continue to take their cargo to East Coast and Gulf Coast gateways. We continue to urge the administration to step in and help the parties reach an agreement and end the disruptions so operations can return to normal. We’ve had enough unavoidable supply chain issues the past two years. This is not the time for one that can be avoided.”