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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, Away promotes a president, and new CEOs are stepping in at Curology, Consumer Brands Association and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Plus, there are new tech and digital leaders at Etsy, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Save Mart and Destination XL.
Here’s a look at this week’s moves:
Catherine Dunleavy was named president of Away, the digitally native luggage company. Dunleavy joined the brand from Nike in 2020 and previously served as chief financial officer with the company. Now, she will oversee strategy, supply chain, digital product, legal and finance. Dunleavy helped the brand navigate the slowdown in travel in the pandemic, then a recovery as travel returned. It is eying a phase of strategic growth, with Dunleavy leading alongside CEO Jen Rubio.
Catherine Dunleavy. (Courtesy photo)
Stand Out for Good, the parent company of apparel brand Altar'd State, is launching a new contemporary home brand. It recently brought on three leaders for the venture, which has yet to be named:
- Tana Ward will serve as brand president, bringing 25 years of senior-level experience at retailers such as Gap, Inc., American Eagle Outfitters and Restoration Hardware. Ward served in roles including co-president and chief merchandising officer.
- Sean Connelly is chief operating officer. Previously, Connelly served in the same role at Serena & Lily and led furniture at Restoration Hardware.
- Mark Dvorak is chief design officer, bringing senior leadership experience in product development from Restoration Hardware and store design from Gap Inc.
Heather Wallace is stepping into the CEO role at Curology, the prescription skincare brand. Wallace succeeds cofounder Dr. David Lortscher, who will become executive chair of the company’s board. Wallace previously served as president of the Americas at Revlon. Founded in 2014, Curology serves four million patients through teledermatology consultations and prescriptions. It reached profitability last quarter, and is expected to book $200 million in revenue in 2022.
"I decided to make this transition because the skills you need to successfully found a company are very different from the skills you need to grow an established company to its full potential – and I believe these decisions should be more common among founders," said Lortscher, in a statement.
Heather Wallace. (Courtesy photo)
Sue Gove was appointed CEO of Bed, Bath & Beyond. The move comes after she spent a stint as interim leader of the home retailer since June. Bed, Bath & Beyond has faced a series of quarters with falling sales and a slumping stock price. On August 31, it implemented a restructuring plan designed to improve financial positioning, increase customer engagement, drive traffic and recapture market share. This includes the closure of more than 150 underperforming stores.
David Chavernis being tapped for the CEO role at the Consumer Brands Association (CBA), which is the trade association representing 73 CPG companies. Chavern joins CBA after a stint as CEO of the News Media Alliance. CBA rebranded from Grocery Manufacturers Association in 2020, and has since recruited 30 new members.
Sudhanshu Priyadarshi was named chief financial officer of Keurig Dr. Pepper, and will lead the company’s financial and IT operations. Priyadarshi most recently served as CFO at Vista Outdoor Inc., and brings experience to the role from PepsiCo and Walmart.
Tiffany Walden resigned as chief operating officer and board member of haircare brand Olaplex, effective Oct. 18. Walden will serve as a senior advisor to the company through the end of 2022, then serve as an outside advisor for the next four years, according to a regulatory filing.
Orlando Ashford. (Courtesy photo)
Orlando Ashford was appointed chief people officer of Fanatics Holdings. Ashford will lead global HR, advance diversity and inclusion and strengthen philanthropic initiatives for the sports company’s three businesses: commerce, collectibles and betting & gaming. Ashford joins from a strategic advisor role at private equity company Sycamore Partners, and previously held senior HR roles at Marsh & McLennan Companies, The Coca-Cola Company, and Motorola, Inc., and was president of the Holland America Line.
Kelie Charles was named VP and chief diversity officer of Bath & Body Works. Charles will serve as the principal leader and strategist on diversity, equity and inclusion at the company. She previously led DEI strategy at The Home Depot.
Rachana Kumar is set to be promoted to chief technology officer at Etsy, effective Jan. 1. Kumar currently serves as VP of engineering at the marketplace. The promotion comes as Etsy CTO Mike Fisher is stepping down to spend more time with family and pursue other interests.
Tamara Pattison was named chief digital officer at Save Mart Companies, StoreBrands reported. In the newly created role, Pattison will focus on enhancing digital and ecommerce capabilities at the grocer. Pattison previously worked at DemandTec, Yahoo!, and Albertsons.
Ana Andjelic was named chief brand officer of apparel brand Espirit. The former chief brand officer of Banana Republic, Andjelic will be tasked with leading a rebrand and leading its global creative and design hub in New York. The move comes after Espirit brought on a new management team earlier this year, including CEO William Pak.Jonathan Sainsbury is joining big and tall retailer Destination XL as chief digital and analytics officer. Sainsbury previously spent 17 years with online jewelry retailer Blue Nile, where he served in a variety of C-level roles. He also ran a consulting business focused on digital growth.
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.”