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Welcome to On the Move. Every week, The Current is rounding up the comings and goings of leaders at brands and retailers across the ecommerce, retail and CPG landscape.
This week, we’ve got news on CEO shifts at Saks Off 5th and Versed. Plus, American Eagle has a new digital chief and Peloton rounds out its leadership team with a people-focused hire.
Saks Off 5th CEO steps down
SaksOff5th.com CEO Paige Thomas left the brand, according to WWD. Thomas took the top job at the Saks Off 5th in 2020, and led the ecommerce company as it spun off of the parent Saks.
With the move, Rob Brooks is stepping in as CEO of Saks Off 5th. Brooks served as president of 05, which was the store division of Saks Off 5th prior to the spinout. Jennifer Drake, who was head of stores at O5, will now serve as that division’s president.
The news comes a week after Saks Off 5th hired former Untuckit executive Julie Mares as head of ecommerce.
Express COO announces retirement
Express announced that President and COO Matthew Moellering will be retiring, effective May 5.
Moellering joined Express from Procter and Gamble in 2003, and rose to his current position in 2019.
Express is conducting a search for Moellering’s successor with the help of an outside firm.
Versed names CEO
Sullivan previously served as CMO at Dollar Shave Club, and held various leadership roles at Johnson & Johnson.
With the hire, Power will step aside as CEO of Versed, and continue to serve in the top role at her other brand Merit Beauty.
American Eagle Outfitters names digital chief
American Eagle Outfitters hired David Zhang as chief digital officer, executives said on the company’s recent earnings call.
“David brings vast experience in building successful digital commerce, and we're looking forward to his contributions,” COO Michael Rempell said.
Qurate Retail Group taps Everlane executive
Bill Wafford (Courtesy photo)
QVC and HSN owner Qurate Retail Group named Bill Wafford to the role of chief financial officer.
Wafford has 25 years of experience, having most recently served as CFO of Everlane. He also brings CFO experience with JCPenney, The Vitamin Shoppe and Thrasio.
James Hathaway, who served as interim CFO since August, will now serve as CFO of QVC.
Balmain Beauty appoints global creative SVP
Hans Dorsinville was appointed as SVP of global creative at Balmain Beauty. In the role, Dorinsville will be responsible for all creative for Balmain Beauty, including image, concepts, strategy and brand voice.
Dorsinville previously served as chief creative officer at Gotham and Select World. He was also a founding partner at Laird + Partners.
The move comes after Balmain signed a license agreement with Estee Lauder in September to collaborate on a line of beauty products that will launch in September 2024.
Peloton hires chief people officer
Dalana Brand. (Courtesy photo)
Peloton named Dalana Brand chief people officer, completing a revamp of the leadership team under CEO Barry McCarthy.
Brand previously served as chief people and diversity officer at Twitter, and also brings prior experience with Electronic Arts and Whirlpool.
Fanatics makes 2 hires
Fanatics made a pair of key marketing hires as the collectibles-focused ecommerce company continues to expand its team:
- Ken Turner was named chief marketing officer, bringing experience as EVP and CMO at Red Bull North America, and a decade at SC Johnson.
- Don Crawley, known as Don C, is joining Fanatics-owned sportswear brand Mitchell & Ness as creative director of premium products. Don C is the founder of the Just Don brand, and has partnered with Mitchell & Ness since 2011.
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.”