Nestlé taps Warby Parker ops lead, Pacsun names CEO
On the Move has hiring updates from Albertsons, Foot Locker and more.
On the Move has hiring updates from Albertsons, Foot Locker and more.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Dealboard has funding and M&A updates from ecommerce aggregators and forecasting software.
This week, the aggregator space is active with M&A, IKEA is ready to roll out newly-purchased warehouse management software and Authentic Brands Group acquired a boot icon. Plus, there’s new investment to report for YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain’s coffee brand and retail forecasting.
Here’s a look at the latest deals:
Chamberlain Coffee, the consumer brand founded by YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain, raised $7 million in new funding.
The financing included backing from existing investors including Blazar Capital, Chamberlain and United Talent Agency. New investors include Volition Capital, Electric Feel Ventures, L.A. Libations and Noah Bremen, founder of PLTFRM.
The new funding follows the launch of a Ready-to-Drink (RTD) product and coffee pods. Previously, the brand raised a Series A in August 2022.
"Creating a uniquely inviting coffee brand has been my dream for so long now, and having key investors back us allows us to build Chamberlain Coffee in ways that feel fresh and exciting,” said Chamberlain, in a statement. “There are so many products I am eager to develop and projects I'm excited to get working on. With such an incredible team and group of investors I am more excited than ever to see what the future holds for Chamberlain Coffee."
Impact Analytics, a software company for retail supply chain and merchandise planning, raised new funding from Vistara Growth.
The new investment, the amount of which was not disclosed, comes after Impact raised funding in February 2021 and October 2022 from Argentum.
The funding will help Impact Analytics further develop its Impact Analytics SmartSuite product portfolio, which is designed to help optimize forecasting, merchandising and end-to-end lifecycle pricing. Rather than the traditional forecasting approach of basing decisions on the preceding year, Impact Analytics applies a model that includes 150 variables from internal and external sources, while combining recency and history. Clients include BJ's Wholesale Club, Dick's Sporting Goods, Puma and Tapestry.
Selva Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on consumer brands that promote healthier living, closed its second fund at $34 million, TechCrunch reported.
With the new funding, Selva will invest in brands across categories including health, wellness, beauty and personal care. The fund expects to write checks of $1-2 million in seed and Series A startups, while assisting in areas like finance, operations and retail partnerships.
Backers of the second fund include Unilever Ventures, PagsGroup and Obelysk.
Nautica and Forever 21 owner Authentic Brands Group acquired the intellectual property of Hunter, a 160-year-old British outdoor lifestyle brand known for its Wellington boots.
With the deal, ABG appointed longtime partners Batra Group and Marc Fisher to execute retail and ecommerce operations, as well as continue to expand the brand in the UK and U.S., respectively.
“At the intersection of fashion and outdoor, Hunter introduces another elevated global brand to Authentic’s diverse Lifestyle portfolio,” said Authentic CEO Jamie Salter, in a statement.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The investment arm of IKEA parent Ingka Group acquired the warehouse management software platform Made4Net.
As a result of the deal, Made4Net’s software will be deployed across IKEA’s 482 stores and fulfillment centers. Made4Net will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Ingka, with a headquarters in New Jersey. CEO Duff Davidson will remain at the helm of the company.
“Our business currently requires a better fulfillment operations system with more accurate data that better supports handling for our customers,” said Tolga Öncu, head of retail at Ingka Group, in a statement. “Our goal is to become leaders of life at home, serving more people in an omnichannel reality, whenever and however customers choose to meet us.”
European ecommerce aggregator SellerX acquired Elevate Brands, a U.S.-based aggregator.
The combined companies will be known as SellerX Group. It will comprise a portfolio that includes 80 Amazon-native private label consumer brands in categories including sports and outdoors, home, mobile accessories, pets and consumables. The portfolio will span over 40,000 products.
With the deal, SellerX Co-CEOs Philipp Triebel and Malte Horeyseck will lead SellerX Group, while Elevate Brands cofounders Ryan Gnesin, Jeremy Bell and Robert Bell will remain in key leadership positions.
“This acquisition combines our know-how and diversified portfolios of strong brands with a market-leading technology platform and strong operational infrastructure,” said Triebel, in a statement. “By leveraging our combined strengths, I am convinced we are well-positioned to drive further consolidation in the industry.”
Ecommerce aggregator Society Brands acquired Wolf Tactical, a tactical gear company.
Founded in 2017 by Tim Wu, Wolf Tactical makes products including DC belts, range belts to weighted vest and tactical backpacks.
"I started Wolf Tactical by myself as a side hustle with very limited knowledge of business and entrepreneurship. A combination of hard work and relentless learning allowed me to build it into a multi-million-dollar business," said Wu who will remain as brand president, in a statement. "With the help of Society Brands, I have access to untapped potential that I would not be able to achieve by myself.”