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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, Zappos gains a CMO, while an ecommerce platform hires a Zappos exec. Plus, The Home Depot creates a customer experience lead, and BBQGuys picks up a merchandising expert from Wayfair.
Zappos names first CMO
Ginny McCormick is the first chief marketing officer at Zappos. After 23 years, the clothing and footwear-focused ecommerce retailer created the role as part of a move to centralize marketing functions, the Wall Street Journal reported.
McCormick previously served as global marketing director at Amazon Hub, which runs package pickup lockers. (Amazon is the parent company of Zappos). Previously, she served as CMO at figurine and toy maker Funko, and head of global media for toy company Hasbro.
This appointment comes in the same month that Las Vegas-based Zappos named longtime leader Scott Schaefer as CEO, transitioning from an acting role.
Orva brings on Zappos exec
Espresen is joining Orva from Zappos, where he served as general manager and chief merchant for 12 years, leading brand acquisition, supplier relationships, inventory management and overall merchandising profitability at Zappos.com and 6pm.com. He previously served in VP and leadership roles at DSW and Nordstrom.
At Orva, which specializes in footwear, apparel, accessories and home products, he will lead merchandising strategy with a primary focus on softlines.
Brunt Workwear has a new president
Footwear and apparel brand Brunt Workwear appointed former Under Armour chief product officer Kevin Eskridge as company president, bringing on a leader with more than 20 years experience in the clothing industry.
Over a decade, Eskridge served in a variety of roles at Under Armour across product innovation, channel strategy and international growth. He previously worked at Gap and Armani Exchange.
Eskridge joins Boston-based Brunt as the brand plans to triple the size of its team after recently expanding into apparel and raising a $20 million Series B.
The Home Depot elevates CX
The Home Depot announced a pair of appointments on April 19:
Matt Carey will be the EVP of customer experience, serving in a new role that leads design and development of seamless experiences across stores and digital devices. The 14-year veteran of the Atlanta-based home improvement chain previously served in SVP and CTO roles at eBay and Walmart.
Fahim Siddiqui is the new EVP and chief information officer, overseeing tech, software and supply chain across the company. Prior to joining Home Depot as an SVP in 2018, he held key software development roles at Staples, MCI, Time Warner Telecom and Sprint.
BBQGuys brings on Wayfair GM
Grilling and outdoor living retailer BBQGuys appointed Justin Petersen as chief merchandising officer.
Petersen joined the Baton Rogue, Louisiana-based company from Wayfair, where he served as general manager of the accent, entertainment, and office furniture categories. He also has experience as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble, and previously worked with Tide, Vicks and Gillette.
With BBQGuys, Petersen will lead the rollout of a category management structure. The 20-year-old company was acquired in 2020 by Brand Velocity Group.
Old Navy CEO exits
In departure news, Gap Inc. announced on April 21 that Nancy Green is out as CEO of apparel retailer Old Navy.
“As we look to seize Old Navy’s potential, particularly amidst the macro-economic dynamics facing our industry, we believe now is the right time to bring in a new leader with the operational rigor and creative vision to execute on the brand’s unique value proposition,” said Gap Inc. CEO Sonia Syngal, in a statement. “I want to thank Nancy Green for her decades of leadership and passion for our brands and customers, as well as the communities we serve.”
Citing “execution challenges” at Old Navy, Gap Inc. updated its first quarter fiscal 2022 net sales growth guidance to approximately low to mid-teens year-over-year declines from its prior guidance of mid to high single digit year-over-year declines.
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.”