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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, LVMH promotes a series of executives, Twitter’s former CMO joins Peloton and The Bay has a new CEO. Plus, Lululemon gains a chief merchandising officer, while Nordstrom sees its leader in that role retire.
Here’s a look at the latest moves:
Sophia Hwang-Judiesch is set to become president of The Bay and Hudson’s Bay, which are the physical and digital retail divisions of the Hudson’s Bay Company. She will succeed Iain Nairn, who is retiring after 46 years in retail. Hwang-Judiesch was named president of Hudson’s Bay in September 2022, leading in-store digital selling transformation, customer experience and store optimization strategy. Nairn oversaw the launch of The Bay’s marketplace, as well as the launch of the company’s work on initiatives to bring about social change and building relationships with indigenous communities.
LVMH, the house of luxury brands, announced a series of appointments to the leadership ranks of its labels:
- Pietro Beccari is set to become CEO of Louis Vuitton, after heading Christian Dior Couture since 2018.
- Michael Burke, the former Louis Vuitton chief, will take on new responsibilities reporting to LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault.
- Delphine Arnault, who is the daughter of Bernard Arnault, will become CEO of Christian Dior, rising from EVP of Louis Vuitton.
- Stéphane Bianchi, who oversees watches and jewlery, will now bring Tiffany and Repossi into that division of the company.
- This comes after Antoine Arnault, the son of Bernard Arnault, was appointed to lead the company that controls LVMH’s stake for the family.
- Bernard Arnaultbecame the world’s richest man in December, dethroning Elon Musk.
Monty Sharma is set to join wellness technology company Therabody as CEO. With this hire, cofounder and current CEO Benjamin Nazarian will transition to executive chairman. Sharma previously served as CEO of companies including EAS, Naked Juice, Atkins (now Simply Good Foods), Curves, Jenny Craig and the Better Being Company. The Theragun maker expanded its product line in six years under Nazarian, and moved from a direct-to-consumer model to an omnichannel company with a presence at more than 10,000 stores.
Leslie Berland. (Courtesy photo)
Leslie Berland was named the next chief marketing officer at Peloton. Berland previously served in the CMO role at Twitter until last fall, and was also head of people at the social media company from 2017-2021. Berland also held marketing leadership roles at American Express over 10 years. Berland departed Twitter as entrepreneur Elon Musk was entering as CEO, kicking off what has been a tumultuous tenure. She joins Peloton as the brand has been seeking to right itself following supply issues and lagging demand following the return to in-person activities. At the connected fitness company, Berland will lead brand and product marketing, creative, consumer insights, membership and global communications.
Elizabeth Binder joined Lululemon as the brand’s first chief merchandising officer, effective Jan. 16. Binder previously served as chief product officer of UK apparel brand Boden, and spent a dozen years as SVP of merchandising at Burberry. It’s the latest move to expand the product team at the athleisure brand, Footwear News reported.
Neiman Marcus made a pair of C-level appointments to newly-created roles:
- Nabil Aliffi joined the company as chief brand officer, leading the growth of omnichannel experiences. Aliffi brings experiences as chief creative officer at Soho House & Co.
- Stefanie Tsen Ward was promoted to chief retail officer. She joined Neiman Marcus in 2018, and helped 70% of its stores reach decade-high revenue totals in 2022.
Teri Bariquit is retiring as chief merchandising officer at Nordstrom, capping a 37-year career at the department store retailer. The company said Bariquit, who was named the first chief merchandising officer at Nordstrom in 2019, will remain in the role until a successor is named. She is credited with making key investments in technology and organizational design.
Emma Chamberlain, the YouTube creator and entrepreneur, was named the global brand ambassador for beauty brand Lancôme. With the move, Chamberlain will star in the first web series for Lancôme’s YouTube page, starting on Jan. 12. Titled “How do you say beauty in French," the series represents “a new approach for Lancôme to move towards more engaging content that is designed to create entertaining and meaningful discussions online,” the brand said.
Mark Parkeris set to become chairman of the board at the Walt Disney Company. Parker is also the executive chairman of Nike. He succeeds Susan E. Arnold, who is departing the board as required by a 15-year term limit. Soon after this news was announced last week, activist investor Nelson Peltz filed proxy statements indicating he is readying a fight with the media giant. Peltz also joined the board of Unilever with the intent on bringing about change, and played a role in a reorganization of P&G, Yahoo Finance reported. However, recently returned Disney CEO Bob Iger said Tuesday that Peltz “does not understand Disney's businesses and lacks the skills and experience to assist the board.”
The National Retail Federation elected six new leaders to its board of directors during a meeting at this week's NRF Big Show. They are:
- Haio Barbeito, President and CEO, Old Navy
- Shelley Bransten, Global Corporate Vice President, Retail and Consumer Goods Industries, Microsoft
- Joe Dittmar, Retail Industry Leader, Vice President and Partner, IBM Consulting
- Suresh Krishna, President and CEO, Northern Tool + Equipment
- David Rawlinson II, President and CEO, Qurate Retail, Inc.
- David Wilkinson, President, NCR Commerce
Beth MoskowitzleftBeyond Meat last week, exiting the role of chief brand officer, the Wall Street Journal reported. Moskowitz said she is returning to investment and advising. She became the latest in a series of executives to leave the plant-based protein company in the last year.
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.