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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, retail and CPG landscape.
This week, Edgewell Personal Care and Estée Lauder are restructuring leadership teams, while C-suites are seeing departures at Williams-Sonoma and West Elm. Plus, Brunt Workwear follows up a fundraise with the addition of a new group of leaders that bring experience from leading brands and retailers.
Here’s a look at this week’s comings and goings:
Alex Bellos was appointed to the role of co-CEO and board member at cooking and home brand Food52. Bellos previously served as president of home retailer West Elm. Bellos will serve alongside Food52 founder Amanda Hesser for six months. Then, Hesser will transition to executive chair. After more than a decade at The New York Times, Hesser turned Food52 into a touchstone for a new generation of ecommerce companies that took a media-first approach. The company harnessed content to build community before offering curated home products geared toward that audience. This year, it has acquired the brands Schoolhouse and Dansk to expand product offerings under its umbrella. Food52 launched its own line of pantry products this month.
Amanda Hesser and Alex Bellos, Food52. (Courtesy photo)
Jacqueline Ardrey is set to join women's travel and apparel retailer Vera Bradley as CEO. Ardey will succeed Robert Wallstrom, who is retiring on Nov. 1 after a nine-year stint as CEO. Previously, Ardey was CEO of Trading Company Holdings and SVP of merchandising and supply chain for Harry and David. “I have long admired Vera Bradley, Inc. and believe both the Vera Bradley and Pura Vida brands have untapped potential in the marketplace,” Ardrey said in a statement.
Edgewell Personal Care, which owns brands including Schick, Playtex and Banana Boat, announced changes to its leadership structure. Nick Powell is set to depart the role of president of international. With this, Powell’s duties are set to be split between CEO Rod Little and CFO Dan Sullivan, who will add the role of president of Europe and Latin America. Effective Oct. 1, Little will lead the Japan and Greater China markets, and Sullivan will lead Europe, Latin America, Oceania and Distributor markets as well as the International Brand Strategy group. Eric O'Toole will continue to lead North America, and assume increased responsibility with the integration of recently-acquired women’s shaving brand Billie.
The Estée Lauder Companies announced an evolution of the leadership of its brand portfolio. With this move, Jane Hertzmark Hudis and the newly-promoted Stéphane de La Faverie will each serve as executive group presidents, with each leader overseeing a cluster of the beauty company’s brands. Hudis will add Clinique, MAC and Tom Ford Beauty to her purview, while continuing to lead skincare, haircare and initiatives focused on China. de la Faverie will add brands including Too Faced, Smashbox and GLAMGLOW to his portfolio, and add oversight of the makeup category. This follows the exit of former executive group president John Demsey earlier this year. The company also announced the following brand leadership moves:
- Justin Boxford was appointed as global brand president of Estée Lauder.
- Sandra Main, the global brand president of La Mer and Bobbi Brown, will assume direct leadership of La Mer and will oversee Bobbi Brown until a new leader is named.
- Michelle Freyre was promoted to global brand president for Clinique and Origins, which expands her brand oversight.
- Amber Garrison, who took on the role of global brand president of Origins in July, will continue as a member of Hertzmark Hudis’ leadership team.
Jane Hertzmark Hudis. (Courtesy photo)
TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen, who founded PillPack and sold the company to Amazon in 2018, are leaving the ecommerce giant, Geekwire reported, citing an internal memo. Following the PillPack acquisition in 2018, Parker and Cohen remained with the company as Amazon Pharmacy was launched in 2020. Leadership of Amazon Pharmacy has since transitioned to John Love. Meanwhile, Amazon appears to be eyeing expansion in healthcare following the July acquisition of primary care network One Medical.
John Standley is leaving his role as Walgreens' president amid a change in leadership of its US business segment. Standley's role will be split into two segments: Pharmacy, led by Lee Cooper, who is currently CEO of Shields Health Solutions, which is set to be acquired outright by Walgreens Boots Alliance in a deal announced Tuesday. Retail will be led by Tracey Brown, president of Walgreens Retail Products and chief customer officer.
Jeff Howie was appointed CFO at Williams-Sonoma, rising after a 20-year stint with the brand. Current CFO Julie Whalen will join Expedia Group as CFO. A 20-year veteran of the home retailer, Howie most recently served as EVP and chief administrative officer. He has also served in executive leadership roles at Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen.
Tim Eaves and Alexandra Chauvigné. (Courtesy photo)
Alexandra Chauvigné recently became CEO of cosmetics packaging manufacturer Quadpack. Effective Sept. 1, she succeeded cofounder Tim Eaves, who will remain the chair of Quadpack’s board of directors and work on sustainability initiatives in the newly created role of chief impact officer. Chauvigné recently served as general manager of Consumer Packaging, a business unit of DS Smith, and held executive positions at Aptar.
Davie Fogarty is stepping down as CEO of comfort wear brand The Oodie, maker of a wearable blanket hoodie that became a breakout pandemic success. In a Twitter post, Fogarty shared that the brand scaled from $1.6 million in sales in 2019 to $184 million in 2022. He will be succeeded by current COO Belinda Barlow, who will focus on expanding sales channels beyond DTC to include marketplaces and wholesale.
\u201cNext week I step down as CEO of The Oodie.\n\nIt has been a wild ride...\n\n[THREAD]\u201d— daviefogarty (@daviefogarty) 1663705238
- Sarah Litt joined as senior director of customer loyalty and retention, bringing experience as director of retention at The RealReal.
- Ryan Shingledecker was appointed director of marketing, bringing experience as director of growth at Mizzen+Main.
- Matt Thompson is director of apparel, having previously worked at Harley-Davidson and most recently as the VP of Merchandising at Legendary Whitetails.
- Colton Vosburgh joined as director of footwear, bringing experience from Under Armour.
- Ruth Trieger was hired to serve as director of customer experience, having previously worked at Patagonia and Bright Cellars.
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.”