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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.
Last week, the big news in ecommerce executive-level moves came from Amazon: Dave Clark, the CEO of Amazon's consumer business, announced he is leaving the company in July after 23 years. Check out our look back at his legacy in logistics.
This week, CEOs are departing at The RealReal and Sephora. Plus, Peloton and InterParfums are making changes at the CFO spot.
Check out the latest details:
The RealReal Founder Julie Wainwright departs
Luxury resale platform The RealReal announced that founder Julie Wainwright is stepping down as CEO.
Wainwright’s departure is effective Tuesday. She will serve in an advisory role for the rest of 2022. The San Francisco-based company will retain an executive search firm as it seeks a new CEO. In the meantime, COO Rati Sahi Levesque and CFO Robert Julian were named co-interim CEOs.
“I am deeply proud of the company we have built and am honored to have worked with a team that champions our founding vision of creating a more sustainable future for fashion,” said Wainwright, in a statement. “The RealReal continues to make progress on its path to profitability, and I feel now is the right time for the next generation of leadership to guide the company through its next chapter.”
Wainwright started The RealReal in 2011 after leading ecommerce and tech companies including SmartNow.com, Bellamax, OntheFrontier and Pets.com. Over the 11 years that she led the company, the resale platform grew to host more than 27 million members.
In that time, online resale has also picked up, with ThredUP projecting recently that the secondhand apparel market is expected to grow 127% by 2026 to a value of $218 billion. At the same time, more platforms are offering resale. It’s not just marketplaces, either. The number of brands with their own resale shops increased from eight in 2020 to 30 in 2021, according to ThredUP.
On the company’s recent first quarter earnings call, Wainwright said the company is projecting a good year, despite inflation and cost pressures facing many retailers. She called the luxury business “tremendously resilient.” For the quarter, gross merchandise value was up 31%, and active buyers rose 21%.
“We have a phenomenal flywheel where our buyers become sellers and our sellers become buyers and that gives us great confidence,” Wainwright told analysts on that call.
Sephora CEO Martin Brok leaves
Brok was named CEO of Sephora in 2020, bringing experience from executive roles at Starbucks and Nike. He succeeded Chris de Lapuente, who rose to the CEO role of the selective retailing division of Sephora owner LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Now, de Lapuente will return to the role of CEO at Sephora, which he previously held for 10 years. During his last stint, he was heralded by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault for turning Sephora into a global beauty leader, WWD reported.
Peloton names former AWS VP Liz Coddington as CFO
Interactive fitness platform Peloton said Liz Coddington will become chief financial officer of the company on June 13.
Coddington previously served as VP of Finance at Amazon Web Services, and held senior leadership roles at Adara, Walmart.com and Netflix.
She succeeds Jill Woodworth, who stepped down as CFO after working with the company since 2018.
Peloton is making a series of moves as it attempts to right itself following a post-pandemic period when demand for its stationary bike-based connected fitness platform cooled, and the company faced a glut of inventory. Losses have followed, and the company cut 2,800 jobs this year.
In its most earnings report, McCarthy made stabilizing cashflow the first of his three primary goals toward a turnaround, TechCrunch reported.
"Liz is a deeply talented finance executive and will be an invaluable addition to Peloton's leadership team. Having worked at some of the strongest and most recognizable technology brands, she not only brings the expertise needed to run our finance organization, but she has a critical understanding of what it takes to drive growth and operational excellence," said McCarthy, in a statement. "I have seen her intellect, abilities, and leadership firsthand and am excited to work closely with her as we execute the next phase of Peloton's journey."
Ex-Asos CEO Nick Beighton becomes chair of Secret Sales
Nick Beighton, who left British retailer Asos in October, is joining the board of directors at the marketplace Secret Sales in the role of chairman.
Secret Sales was purchased by Lifestyle Retail Group in 2019. Under new leadership, it was transformed from a flash sale website into a discount marketplace featuring apparel and beauty products, Fashion United reports.
At Asos, current chief commercial officer José Antonio Ramos Calamonte is expected to be appointed CEO in the coming weeks, according to a report in The Sunday Times. Calamonte is the former CEO of Salsa Jeans, and led commercial strategy for brands at Inditex.
Inter Parfums names new Atwood CFO
Perfumes company Inter Parfums announced an upcoming transition in the role of chief financial officer.
Current CFO Russell Greenberg will retire September 6. With 30 years at the company, he has served alongside Jean Madar since its early days.
“Russ has played an integral role in the growth and evolution of our company for 30 years. He has been by my side for all the significant initiatives we have undertaken, through the best of times and the most challenging,” said Inter Parfums CEO Jean Madar, in a statement. “He has earned, and well deserves, to devote more time to family, friends, and the activities he most enjoys.”
In turn, Michel Atwood, the former VP of Finance and Strategy at Estée Lauder, will assume the top financial role and join the company’s board. Atwood brings experience overseeing the company’s fragrance business, and served as a member of the cosmetics company’s senior finance leadership team. He previously served as CFO of global prestige fragrances at Procter & Gamble.
Founded in 1982, Inter Parfums manufactures and distributes fragrance products as the exclusive licensee for brands including Abercrombie & Fitch, Coach, Guess and Kate Spade.
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.”