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Welcome to On the Move. In this hiring-focused weekly feature, The Current is rounding up recent arrivals and departures at brands and retailers across the ecommerce landscape.
This week, Amazon's top policy and PR executive is heading to Airbnb, while Instacart’s founder is departing the board. Plus, Depop, Calares and Hanna Andersson have new CEOs.
Check out all of the leadership moves:
Amazon policy chief leaves for Airbnb
Jay Carney is leaving his role as senior vice president of global corporate affairs at Amazon, and checking into Airbnb, where he will be global head of policy and communications.
A White House press secretary under President Barack Obama and former journalist, Carney joined Amazon seven years ago. He oversaw policy and public relations, serving as an adviser to CEO Jeff Bezos and more recently Andy Jassy. He also built the company’s corporate affairs office, which oversaw investments in disaster response, humanitarian relief for Ukraine and education programs for underrepresented communities.
“The potential for travel to promote economic and social good has never been greater,” Carney said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be joining Airbnb to help guide its work to connect communities and people through travel, drive economic participation, and help us discover that while our differences are real, they are overwhelmed by our similarities.”
Based out of Washington, DC, Carney will join Airbnb in September. He will report to CEO Brian Chesky.
Calares announces CEO transition
Jay Schmidt and Diane Sullivan. (Courtesy photo)
Footwear company Calares said CEO Diane Sullivan will be transitioning out of the role in Janunary 2023 to become executive chair of the board. She will be succeeded by Jay Schmidt, the current president of the company that owns Famous Footwear, Sam Edelman, Allen Edmonds and Naturalizer.
Schmidt has been with the company since 2009, leading consumer and brand strategy for the entire portfolio since assuming the president role in 2020. He previously held leadership roles at Nine West Group, May Merchandising Group, Macy's and Lord & Taylor.
An announcement called the transition "the culmination of a long-scheduled and carefully planned succession process led and executed by the company’s Board of Directors."
Depop has a new CEO
Kruti Patel Goyal. (Photo via Etsy)
Goyal replaces Maria Raga, who resigned to pursue personal ventures.
In turn, Etsy promoted VP of product management Nick Daniel to the role of chief product officer.
Goyal has been with Etsy for 11 years, and previously led the marketplace's seller services, corporate development, international and marketplace integrity teams. Now, she will relocate to London, where Depop is headquartered. Etsy acquired Depop in 2021 for $1.6 billion in a move seen as a bid to grow with Gen Z audiences.
“I have no doubt Kruti is the right leader for Depop's next chapter as we focus on nurturing its passionate community and improving the customer experience,” said Etsy CEO Josh Silvermann. “She has guided Etsy through periods of significant transformation, with a proven track record of motivating teams to deliver results and advance our mission."
Hanna Andersson hires new CEO
Aimée Lapic. (Photo via LinkedIn)
Bringing over 20 years of experience, Lapic most recently served as chief digital and marketing officer at GoPro, where she led the DTC and subscription business. She also served as CMO at Pandora Media and held leadership roles at Gap, Inc. and Banana Republic.
Instacart chair to leave after IPO
Apoorva Mehta. (Photo via Twitter)
Instacart founder Apoorva Mehta will leave the grocery delivery company’s board of directors after it completes an initial public offering, the company announced.
With the move, Fidji Simo, who succeeded Mehta in the CEO role last year, will become the chair of the company’s board.
"Since I transitioned from CEO to Executive Chairman a year ago, I realized that I want to pursue a new mission and I want to do it with the same singular focus that I had while building Instacart. Stepping off the board will allow me to do just that," Mehta said , in a statement.
Instacart filed confidentially to go public in May, but has yet to signal when it will become a public company. The move completes the transition of power at the company to Simo, who has repositioned Instacart as a technology provider to grocers in an operational environment that is increasingly digital.
Former Instacart president joins Coca-Cola board
Carolyn Everson. (Courtesy photo)
Carolyn Everson will bring tech and media executive experience to the board of the Coca-Cola Company. Everson was recently elected to the director position.
She most recently served as president of Instacart. Past roles also include VP of the global business unit at Facebook, corporate VP of advertising sales and trade marketing at Microsoft and stints at Viacom, Primedia, Walt Disney Imagineering and Accenture Consulting.
“Carolyn has deep experience across several major companies, including leadership on a global level,” said Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey. “She will bring valuable knowledge and perspective to our company.”
Mars Wrigley names chief growth officer
Gülen Bengi. (Courtesy photo)
CPG company Mars Wrigley announced a transition in the chief growth officer role that is set to take place this fall.
Gülen Bengi will step into the role. Bengi brings experience from consumer goods companies including Unilever, Kimberly-Clark and Danone.
She will succeed Cathryn Sleight, who is stepping back from full-time duties after a 30-year career in marketing to explore other opportunities.
“In the face of uncertainty and disruption, [Sleight] helped Mars Wrigley regain share growth momentum by powering our brands with meaningful purpose, building digital capabilities, gaining availability in fast-growing channels and delivering cutting edge innovation. Her ambition and contributions to our business and brands will have a lasting impact,” Mars Wrigley Global President David Clarke said in a statement.
Saucony names CMO
Kathryn Pratt (Courtesy photo)
Running and lifestyle brand Saucony appointed Kathryn Pratt to the role of chief marketing officer.
In the CMO role, Pratt has a portfolio that includes strategic development and execution of branding initiatives, including brand positioning, direct-to-consumer, advertising, digital strategies, international growth initiatives and the expansion of Originals, the brand’s heritage lifestyle business.
Previously, Pratt served as director of brand engagement and outdoor discovery programs at LL Bean. She has also held executive roles at designer Kenneth Cole and marketing communications company Young & Rubicam.
Dollar Tree names CIO
Discount retailer Dollar Tree hired Bobby Aflatooni as chief information officer. He previously held the CIO role at The Howard Hughes Corporation. He has also worked at Yum! Brands, CapitalOne Auto Finance, LayerOne, Silverleaf Resorts and CapitalOne Services.
The new hire comes on the heels of a big change executive at Dollar Tree earlier this year in a shakeup prompted by activist investors. That included the departure of four top executives and a revamped board, Retail Dive reported .
Aflatooni’s hire “is the first of a number of executive additions related to our recently announced leadership changes, as we scale our leadership team to accelerate the growth and transformation of our company,” CEO Mike Witynski said.
Nordstrom names executive leaders
Retailer Nordstrom made a pair of key executive appointments. They are as follows:
- Deniz Anders, a 22-year veteran of the company, was promoted to senior vice president and chief marketing officer. She succeeds Scott Meden, who is retiring.
- Nina Barjesteh was hired as president of Nordstrom Product Group, overseeing the company’s private label brands. Barjesteh comes to the role from a senior executive position at Dick’s Sporting Goods. She also held senior leadership roles at Rue 21 and Target.
Very Great grows leadership team
Digitally-native consumer product company and holding company
, which is growing a family of brands with marketing, supply chain and sales infrastructure, made a pair of
at the vice president level. They are:
- Sherry Shannon is joining as VP of sales. She brings experience in sales leadership from homeware brand Joseph Joseph and a 20-year stint at kitchen supply retailer OXO.
- Rob Snowden is joining the company as VP of omnichannel fulfillment operations. He previously worked at pet product brand Bark for nine years, overseeing multiple fulfillment centers.
Flow names CFO
Trent MacDonald. (Courtesy photo)
Premium water company Flow Beverge Corp. announced the appointment of Trent MacDonald as chief financial officer. He succeeds Devan Pennell, who will become chief strategy officer at the company.
The company said MacDonald brings "deep experience in retail operations, operational efficiency and business intelligence in high growth entrepreneurial environments."
“Flow’s top strategic priority is the profitable growth of the Flow brand. As such, we are adding bench strength to our organization to drive continued operational efficiencies, maximize working capital management and accelerate our path to profitability,” said Flow CEO Nicholas Reichenbach, in a statement.
General Mills exec joins Nutrabolt board
Wendy C. Unglaub. (Courtesy photo)
Health and wellness company Nurtrabolt said it appointed Wendy C. Unglaub to its board of directors.
Unglaub currently serves as VP, chief tax officer and principal tax counsel at General Mills.
Nutrabolt houses three brands: Energy drink brand C4, post-workout recovery brand XTEND and sports nutrition brand Cellucor.
Trending in Careers
Campbell Soup Company CEO Mark Clouse offered thoughts on messaging amid inflationary shifts in consumer behavior.
After months of elevated inflation and interest rate hikes that have the potential to cool demand, consumers are showing more signs of shifting behavior.
It’s showing up in retail sales data, but there’s also evidence in the observations of the brands responsible for grocery store staples.
The latest example came this week from Campbell Soup Company. CEO Mark Clouse told analysts that the consumer continues to be “resilient” despite continued price increases on food, but found that “consumers are beginning to feel that pressure” as time goes on.
This shows up in the categories they are buying. Overall, Clouse said Campbell sees a shift toward shelf-stable items, and away from more expensive prepared foods.
There is also change in when they make purchases. People are buying more at the beginning of the month. That’s because they are stretching paychecks as long as possible.
These shifts change how the company is communicating with consumers.
Clouse said the changes in behavior are an opportunity to “focus on value within our messaging without necessarily having to chase pricing all the way down.”
“No question that it's important that we protect affordability and that we make that relevant in the categories that we're in," Clouse said. "But I also think there's a lot of ways to frame value in different ways, right?”
A meal cooked with condensed soup may be cheaper than picking up a frozen item or ordering out. Consumers just need a reminder. Even within Campbell’s own portfolio, the company can elevate brands that have more value now, even if they may not always get the limelight.
The open question is whether the shift in behavior will begin to show up in the results of the companies that have raised prices. Campbell’s overall net sales grew 5% for the quarter ended April 30, while gross profit margins held steady around 30%. But the category-level results were more uneven. U.S. soup sales declined 11%, though the company said that was owed to comparisons with the quarter when supply chains reopened a year ago and expressed confidence that the category is seeing a longer-term resurgence as more people cook at home following the pandemic. Snacks, which includes Goldfish and Pepperidge Farm, were up 12% And while net sales increased overall, the amount of products people are buying is declining. Volumes were down 7%.
These are trends happening across the grocery store. Campbell is continuing to compete. It is leading with iconic brands, and a host of different ways to consume them. It is following that up with innovation that makes the products stand out. Then, it is driving home messaging that shows consumers how to fit the products into their lives, and even their tightening spending plans.
Campbell Soup is more than 150 years old, and has seen plenty of difficult economic environments. It is also a different business today, and will continue to evolve. At the end of the day, continued execution is what’s required.
“If it's good food, people are going to buy it, especially if it's a great value,” Clouse said.