CEO chairs have new faces at Tonal, Quiet Logistics and Forma Brands
On the Move has hiring updates from Nike, Bath & Body Works and more.
On the Move has hiring updates from Nike, Bath & Body Works and more.
This week, new CEOs are taking the controls following periods of turbulence at Tonal, Quiet Logistics and Forma Brands. Plus, Bath & Body Works makes room for tech and customer chiefs in the leadership ranks, and Nike’s longtime communications head is retiring.
Here's a look at the latest moves:
Krystal Zell was appointed to the role of CEO at home strength training platform Tonal. Zell is rising to the top role after joining the company as president in July. She brings more than 20 years of experience from The Home Depot and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
With this move, Aly Orady, who founded the company in 2015, will transition to the role of chief technology officer.
The leadership transition comes as Tonal raised $130 million in new funding as part of a recapitalization effort. The financing was led by L Catterton, Cobalt, Dragoneer, Kindred Ventures and THVC.
It comes amid a broader reset in the at-home fitness market following a boom during the pandemic. Last July, the DTC brand laid off 35% of staff in a move to become a more self-sustaining profitable business, Orady said at the time. According to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, the latest funding round values the company between $550 million and $600 million, which is down from as much as $1.6 billion in 2021.
Shekar Natarajan stepped down from the top leadership role at Quiet Platforms, the logistics arm of American Eagle Outfitters, according to Business Insider.
Niall Murphy will take over as head of the company. Quiet COO Brent Beabout also left the company. The moves come after Quiet Platforms posted growth below expectations.
AEO acquired Quiet Logistics for $360 million in 2021, and quickly moved forward with plans to position the company as a logistics partner to AEO as well as other brands and retailers. Natarajan was outspoken in urging others to join Quiet in a "frenemy" network that would enable retailers to take on Amazon and Walmart. The news of his exit indicates that the bid to turn supply chain into an engine of growth hasn’t gone according to plan.
Cliff Moskowitz joined Forma Brands as CEO following the company’s exit from bankruptcy. Moskowitz brings more than 20 years of experience to the role, having served as CEO of apparel brand Outdoor Voices and managed InterLuxe Holdings.
Forma Brands, which is the parent company of beauty retailer Morphe, was acquired by investors following a bankruptcy filing earlier this year.
Along with the bankruptcy filing, the company closed U.S. Morphe stores, and sold the assets of Ariana Grande’s beauty brand r.e.m. to the singer.
Logistics tech company GreyOrange named cofounder Akash Gupta to the role of CEO. Cofounder Samay Kohli will continue to serve on the board.
Over a decade, Gupta and Kohli worked together to helm the company as it grew automated robotic fulfillment and inventory optimization software, which is called GreyMatter. Previously, Gupta served as chief product officer and CTO.
Bath & Body Works announced a series of leadership changes and restructuring. They include:
Thilina Gunasinghe was appointed chief digital and technology officer. She joins from McDonald’s Corporation, where she most recently served as Global Vice President, Chief Technology Architect & Data Officer. The new role will include oversight of digital and technology strategy, digital operations, data and analytics, as well as transformation.
Wendy Arlin will step down as chief financial officer of the retailer in a move that will be effective July 29, or earlier depending on the timing of a successor’s hire.
The new role of chief customer officer is being created, and the company has a search underway for this leader.
Julie Rosen will continue to serve as president of retail, now overseeing all retail channels of the business, product functions and the new business opportunities teams.
KeJuan Wilkins. (Courtesy photo)
Nike, Inc. named KeJuan Wilkins the next EVP and chief communications officer. This comes as Nigel Powell announced plans to retire from the top comms role at the sportswear brand after 24 years.
Wilkins previously led corporate and employee communications globally for Nike, and led communications for Nike in North America and the Jordan Brand.
CEO John Donahoe said Powell has been “a visionary communicator leading and driving some of the biggest, most complex, and impactful moments for the brand.”
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.”