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Welcome to On the Move. In this hiring-focused weekly feature, The Current is rounding up recent arrivals and departures at brands and retailers across the ecommerce landscape.
This week brought news that the CEO roles at Foot Locker, adidas and Sun-Maid are set to see new faces in the coming months. Meanwhile, leadership teams are going through restructuring at Starbucks and Bath & Body Works.
Here’s the rundown on personnel moves around retail and ecommerce:
Mary Dillon, the former CEO of Ulta Beauty, will assume the CEO role at Foot Locker on Sept. 1. Dillon will succeed retiring CEO Richard A. Johnson, who will remain chair of the board until January 31, 2023. With the move, the footwear and apparel retailer is separating CEO and board chair roles, with Dona D. Young taking a role as non-executive chair. The company touted Dillon’s experience in marketing and digital transformation, as she will seek to build on Foot Locker’s $1.1 billion acquisitions of WSS and atmos last year. “We have turned a brick-and-mortar company into an interactive retail community poised for long-term growth in the digital era,” Johnson said.
Kasper Rorsted will exit his current position as CEO of adidas in 2023. The apparel company’s board of directors announced that it has started the search for a successor. Rorsted assumed the top role at the apparel company in 2016. “After three challenging years that were marked by the economic consequences of the COVID-19-pandemic and geo-political tensions, it is now the right time to initiate a CEO transition and pave the way for a restart,” said chairman of the supervisory board Thomas Rabe.
Harry Overly is set to transition from the role of president and CEO to executive chairman at Sun-Maid Growers of California, effective September 14. According to a new release, he is set to take on “new responsibilities outside of the company.” Current Sun-Maid CFO Braden Bender will assume the role of interim president and CEO while a search for a successor is conducted by the company’s board of directors. Overly joined Sun-Maid in 2018, and oversaw the 2021 acquisition of Plum Organics.
Ted Decker is assuming the additional role of chair of the board at The Home Depot. Decker, a 22-year veteran of home improvement retailer who became its CEO in March, will succeed Craig Menear upon his retirement on September 30.
Jennifer Mann will become president of The Coca-Cola Company's North American operating unit, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Mann will succeed Alfredo Rivera, who is retiring after 38 years with Coca-Cola and a recent stint leading a restructuring of the unit. Mann is a current SVP at Coca-Cola corporate, and leads the team responsible for scaling acquisitions and brands, known as global ventures. A new leader for global ventures will be announced later, the company said.
Tracy Schaefer was promoted to SVP and chief information officer at Conagra Brands, Inc. Schaefer joined the CPG company in 2001 as a financial analyst, and has since held multiple leadership roles. "Tracy has a strong track record of delivering excellent results in finance, information technology and global business services," said Dave Marberger, chief financial officer, Conagra Brands.
Tim Kuckelman was hired as the first-ever chief operating officer at Arhaus. Bringing over three decades of experience in retail operations and logistics Kuckelman previously served as COO Fashionphile Group, and spent a decade in various roles at Kohl's. He also has experience at Best Buy and Gap, Inc. He begins with the furniture retailer at the end of September.
Starbucks announced a series of leadership changes as part of a reorganization initiated by recently-returned CEO Howard Schultz. As the company seeks a new CEO, the big departure is that of COO John Culver, who will transition to an executive advisor role after 20 years with the company. EVP of Supply Chain George Dowdie is also set to leave a day-to-day role with the company “to focus on board and scientific advisory work.” In turn, Frank Britt is taking on an expanded role as EVP, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer. With these moves, a series of executives will now report to Schultz and Britt, beginning on Oct. 3. Find more details in Schultz’ letter.
Trending in Careers
The job market continues to hum.
The labor market continued to show strength to start 2023, as the monthly jobs report posted big numbers.
Key data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly jobs report:
- Unemployment fell to 3.4%, ticking down from 3.5% in December to remain at historic lows.
- The economy added jobs to the tune of 517,000, which bested the 2022 average of 401,000.
- Average hourly wages rose by $0.10, marking year-over-year growth of 4.4%.
The Current’s view: The labor market continues to be an economic outlier. While there are signs of consumer pullback and belt-tightening among tech companies and retailers after months of high inflation, the job picture remains bright. While tech companies and some retailers are cutting back markedly, there are few signs of the widespread “pain” that economists predicted in this indicator of the economy.
What brands and retailers are thinking: Jobs are a major indicator of demand, and the labor market continues to hum along. That means the consumer pullback is tied to choices about discretionary spending and holding off on certain purchases in the face of high prices, moreso than being unable to afford items altogether.
What the Fed is thinking: Here’s more evidence that a soft landing might be possible. The Fed has been raising interest rates to bring down inflation. There is risk that this will slow down the economy, including employment. There was some slowing in job growth in December, but this report indicates labor market softening still hasn’t happened for a sustained period, even as inflation is cooling. After the central bank scaled back its latest interest rate hike to 0.25% on Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he sees a “path” to bringing down inflation without a significant rise in unemployment. Here’s one more piece of data to bolster that belief.
Keep in mind: The labor market is still out of balance between supply and demand. This report shows a big rise in jobs and the labor force participation rate remaining the same. Job openings actually increased in December, the Labor Department found. So there a still the case. Eventually, it will likely have to come into balance. But given the unpredictability of this economic era, it’s tough to know when, or even how.