Nestlé taps Warby Parker ops lead, Pacsun names CEO

On the Move has hiring updates from Albertsons, Foot Locker and more.

Brie Olson

Brie Olson is sole CEO of Pacsun. (Courtesy photo)

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, Nestlé is bringing back a familiar face to lead operations, Pacsun is appointing a lone CEO and Foot Locker is bringing on a Kohl’s financial executive as CFO.

Here’s a look at the latest moves:

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Nestlé head of operations to retire

Magdi Batato is set to retire as EVP and head of operations after 30 years at Nestlé, the world’s largest food company announced.

After a transition in the second half of 2023, Stephanie Pullings Hart will assume the head of operations role, effective January 1, 2024. Pullings Hart previously had a 23-year stint at Nestlé, serving in roles across manufacturing, factory management, supply chain, research and development and human resources. Pullings Hart currently serves as SVP of operations at Warby Parker. Previously, she served as SVP of global operations at Beyond Meat.

"On behalf of our Board of Directors and our Executive Board, I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Magdi for his many contributions to Nestlé. We wish him all the best for this next chapter,” said Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider, in a statement. “At the same time, we are delighted that Stephanie is returning to Nestlé. With her appointment, we are gaining a highly qualified leader with extensive experience across all areas of operations, and a proven track record in growing businesses. Her highly entrepreneurial and digital experience combined with her knowledge of Nestlé make her the ideal leader to take us forward.”

Pacsun names sole CEO

Brie Olson was appointed as the sole CEO of Pacsun, ending a co-CEO model at the apparel retailer. It comes after Olson was appointed as co-CEO in March after 17 years with the company.

With the move, Mike Relich will retire as co-CEO, effective June 15.

In turn, Russell Bowers will be appointed chief operating officer, while continuing to serve as CFO.

Albertsons names head of spinout company

Jim Perkins was named head of planning SpinCo, a new company that is being proposed to oversee the stores divested in the pending Kroger-Albertsons merger. Philadelphia Business Journal first reported the news.

Perkins currently serves as EVP of retail operations and special projects and Mid-Atlantic division president at Albertsons. Previously, he served as president of Acme.

With the move, Tom Lofland was appointed mid-Atlantic division president at Albertsons. He previously served as senior VP of merchandising and marketing in the division.

According to the proposed merger agreement between Kroger and Albertsons, SpinCo is set to operate between 100-375 stores that are divested.

Foot Locker names CFO

Mike Baughn is set to join the team at Foot Locker as chief financial officer.

Previously, Baughn served as EVP of finance and treasurer at Kohls, where he spent 15 years in a variety of financial roles.

The appointment comes after a lengthy search process. With the permanent hire, interim CFO Robert Higginbotham will shift to SVP of investor relations, financial planning and analysis.

Baughn marks the latest key executive hire under recently-appointed CEO Mary Dillon.

Radial names CTO

Jim French is joining ecommerce solutions firm Radial as chief technology officer.

French previously served for as CTO at Transplace, an Uber Freight Company, for four years. He previously held senior tech roles at MoneyGram International and travel tech company Sabre.

"Radial has a proven track record of delivering innovative eCommerce solutions that help brands succeed in today's ever-changing landscape,” said Jim French, CTO of Radial, in a statement. “I'm honored to work with the talented Radial team to build on that success and take our technology to the next level. Together, we will continue to improve the client experience, drive growth, and solidify Radial's position as a leader in the industry.”

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