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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, Helen of Troy and Ted Baker are seeing changes in the top leadership ranks, while Snap is bringing on former Meta executives in a bid to boost advertising, Plus, Vera Bradley is set to undergo a reorganization that is bringing a change at CFO.
Here's a look at the latest moves:
Helen of Troy CEO to retire, makes CFO change
Julien Mininberg is set to retire from the role of CEO at Helen of Troy, effective March 1, 2024. Mininberg spent the last decade as CEO of the OXO and Hydro Flask parent, and has served in the consumer products industry for the last 34 years.
Minniberg will be succeeded by Noel Geoffroy, who is currently chief operating officer. Geoffroy joined the company last year, bringing 25 years of experience in CPG at Sanofi Consumer Health, Kellogg’s, Heinz, and Procter & Gamble. Geoffroy was the key architect of the company’s transformation plan, called Project Pegasus.
Helen of Troy is also seeing a change at CFO. Matt Osberg will leave the company after seven years to pursue an opportunity closer to family in Minnesota. The company is bringing back Brian Grass to serve as interim CFO. He previously had a 15-year tenure with the company,
In its most recent quarter, the company reported that core net sales declined 16.2% and core adjusted diluted EPS declined 19.9% year-over-year.
Ted Baker CEO to depart following acquisition
Rachel Osborne and other executives are set to depart apparel retailer Ted Baker as it settles into new ownership under Authentic Brands Group.
The news comes as ABG said it signed operating agreements in the UK and Europe for the brand with PDS Group and AARC, respectively.
Along with Osborne, departing executives include Chief Financial Officer Marc Dench, Chief People Officer Peter Collyer and Group Commercial and Business Development Director Helen Costello. The changes are “part of a broader transformation process as Ted Baker shifts towards Authentic’s licensing model, which partners with leading operators to optimize brand value in the marketplace,” according to a news release.
Snap hires Meta execs
Snapchat parent Snap Inc. hired a pair of executives from Meta Platforms as it seeks to expand in advertising. The hires are as follows:
Patrick Harris will serve as SVP of partnerships. This new role is designed to expand personalized use of augmented reality, which was on display in a recent partnership with concert promoter Live Nation Inc.
David Sommer will be head of verticals, tasked with working more closely with CPGs to use Snap’s advertising tools. Along with 11 years at Meta, Sommer most recently served as chief commercial officer at rewards platform Fetch.
Vera Bradley makes change at CFO
Handbag and luggage retailer Vera Bradley is bringing in a new CFO as part of a wider reorganization.
Michael Schwindle will join the company as CFO, succeeding John Enwright in early June.
The company also made several changes in marketing, ecommerce, product design, and product development areas that will result in the elimination of approximately 25 corporate positions.
Anthropologie makes key leadership changes
Lifestyle brand Anthropologie Group announced a series of leadership changes. These included:
Anu Narayanan was promoted to president of women's: apparel, accessories, weddings and beauty. Narayanan joined in 2018, and has led the women's apparel and accessory business.
Holly Thrasher was promoted to chief merchandising officer of apparel and weddings. Thrasher came to the brand in 2021 from Nordstrom, where she spent 18 years.
Aaron Mutscheller is joining Anthropologie as president of home and terrain, overseeing home and garden. He previously held leadership positions at Williams Sonoma, Serena & Lily and Nickey Kehoe.
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.”