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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, Bazooka, Crayola, REI and L’Oreal are adding to the leadership ranks, Belk’s CEO jumps to GameStop and Crate & Barrel is adding an SVP of the metaverse.
Bazooka promotes VPs of ecommerce, brand marketing
- Becky Silberfarb was promoted to VP of brand marketing, Americas. In a previous role as senior director of marketing, she led brands such as Ring Pop, Push Pop, Baby Bottle Pop and Bazooka. Previously, she spent three years at Danone.
- Lizzy Mangold was promoted to VP of ecommerce and innovation. Previously, as senior director of innovation and ecommerce marketing, she led marketing for Baby Bottle Pop and Juicy Drop, while developing successful new products. Prior to joining Bazooka in 2011, she worked at The New York Cosmos.
Belk CEO departs, takes COO role at GameStop
Nir Patel stepped down from the role of CEO at department store retailer Belk last week. On Monday, Patel was appointed chief operating officer at GameStop, the video game retailer that shifted its strategy to focus on ecommerce last year.
Patel was named CEO of Belk in July 2021. He previously held senior roles at Kohl's and Lands’ End.
At Belk, president and chief operating officer Don Hendricks was appointed to the role of interim CEO.
Trove promotes Gayle Tait to CEO
Gayle Tait (Photo: Trove)
Tait joined Brisbane, California-based Trove in January 2021, and served as president of the company. She previously served as managing director for global retail and payments activation for Google Play, and spent 15 years at L’Oreal.
“Since Gayle joined Trove nearly 18 months ago, her contributions have been transformative. Her leadership, vision and operational expertise will undoubtedly propel Trove to new heights as we continue to build our technology platform and grow across luxury and other categories,” said Ruben, in a statement.
Founded in 2011, Trove powers resale channels for brands including Allbirds, lululemon, Levi’s, Patagonia, REI, Eileen Fisher and Arc’tery.
JC Penney names Aylward as CMO
John Aylward. (Photo: JC Penney)
Aylward joines JC Penney from global anti-poverty nonprofit CARE. He also brings experience as a marketer at DSW, Starbucks and Gap.
He will be focused on strengthening JC Penney’s loyalty program, and aiding its efforts to create a seamless omnichannel experience across in-store and digital shopping formats.
L’Oreal makes a series of executive moves
Left to right: Susannah Greenberg, Leslie Marino, and Nathalie Gerschtein.
- Susannah Greenberg was promoted to chief information officer for the Americas, focused on driving beauty tech growth. She has worked with L’Oreal for a decade, and led the company’s Women in Tech group.
- Leslie Marino was appointed to the role of president of the professional products division for the USA, overseeing Biolage, Kérastase and L’Oréal Professionnel. Marino previously oversaw a series of brands including Redken and Pureology.
- Nathalie Gerschtein was appointed to president of the consumer products division of the, North America Zone. She will oversee a portfolio that includes L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline New York, Garnier and Carol’s Daughter. She has a 20-year career with L’Oreal that began in the management trainee program.
Eddie Bauer CEO departs
Damien Huang (Photo: Eddie Bauer)
Huang worked at Eddie Bauer for 12 years. In 2021, it was acquired by Authentic Brands Group from Golden Gate Capital, becoming part of ABG’s SPARC Group portfolio. Now, SPARC Group is seeking a new leader.
“Working with the team at Eddie Bauer and crafting a vision for this brand’s second century has been a phenomenal experience,” Huang said in a statement. “I’m proud of all that we accomplished together to make outdoor adventure accessible and fun. I am confident that under the leadership of SPARC and ABG, Eddie Bauer is well-positioned to continue its momentum.”
The move comes after the brand named Christopher Bevans as its first creative director earlier this month.
BARK names Gustafson as CMO
Cindy Gustafson. Photo: BARK)
Gustafson brings experience in ecommerce, subscription and CPG. She previously served as global CMO at WW International, Inc. (formerly known as Weight Watchers), and has more than 20 years experience with brands including Nike, American Express, Jaguar/Land Rover, Unilever, Booking.com, Volvo and Royal Caribbean International.
Founded in 2011, BARK provides subscription boxes (BarkBox), meal plans and health and wellness products, among other offerings.
Crate & Barrel makes executive promotions, including SVP of the metaverse
Alicia Waters, Sebastian Brauer and Joan King. (Courtesy of Crate and Barrel)
- Alicia Waters was named EVP for Crate & Barrel and Crate & Kids. She previously served as chief marketing officer.
- Sebastian Brauer was named SVP for product design, development and metaverse. He previously served as VP of product design and development. Now, Brauer will be overseeing the company’s strategy for web3 and the metaverse.
- Joan King was named EVP of digital and international growth. She previously served as SVP of ecommerce and international.
REI names supply chain chief
Sylvia Wilks and Minnie Alexander. (Photos: REI)
- Sylvia Wilks will join the company on May 23 as its first SVP and chief supply chain officer. Tasked with developing the supply chain network of the future, Wilks previously worked at the startup TireHub, Starbucks and Kimberly-Clark.
- Minnie Alexander will join as VP, general counsel and corporate secretary on May 31. Alexander previously served as assistant general counsel at the Walt Disney Company.
Solo Brands names new CFO
Somer Webb. (Courtesy photo)
Webb is joining from sporting goods manufacturer Kent Outdoors, and has also served in leadership roles at Worldwide Express, DaVita, Match Group, Amazon and Yum Brands.
Crayola reorganizes executive team
Warren Schorr and Victoria Lozano. (Courtesy photo)
Crayon brand Crayola announced a reorganization of its executive team as it looks to build momentum from expansion in content on YouTube, social channels and in-person centers. It included the following moves:
- Victoria Lozano, Crayola’s EVP of marketing communications and digital strategy, is adding content development to her responsibilities. In this role, she will lead planning and development for Crayola children’s entertainment content, as well as consumer activation, engagement, and content strategy across children, parent and educator audiences.
- Warren Schorr was promoted to SVP of business development, global licensing and experiences, leading Crayola’s location-based entertainment business.
Johnson & Johnson designates leaders for consumer health company
Johnson & Johnson
named Thibaut Mongon as CEO designate and Paul Ruh as CFO designate of its new consumer health company. This follows the 2021 announcement that J&J plans to spin off its consumer health business, which includes brands such as Tylenol, Neutrogena, Listerine and Aveeno. Mongon and Ruh both served as CEO and CFO of the company’s consumer health division. With this move, the company said the leadership transition will take place in 2023.
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.