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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
Computer vision and mobile deep linking are helping to connect content and commerce on the visual social platform.
Pinterest is aiming to make shopping a “core” of the product experience on the visual social platform in 2023, executives said.
On an earnings call to recap the fourth quarter of 2022 on Monday, CEO Bill Ready said 50% of users view Pinterest as a place to shop, and the platform wants to make it easier for them to do so by integrating more shoppable content into the platform's most-used areas.
“In our endeavor to make Pinterest the home of taste-based shopping, we're integrating shopping across our most trafficked surfaces, including home feed, search, and related pins, to show users products most relevant to them,” Ready said. “Over the long term, we also want to make every pin shoppable.”
This will include new technology. Pinterest plans to deploy computer vision to make products and videos shoppable.
It will also include changes to the experience. Pinterest wants to take users directly to a product detail page on a merchant’s app. One way it does this is through mobile deep linking on shopping ads. These helped lead to an 8% increase in visual search shopping relevance.
The approach is showing early results. During Black Friday-Cyber Monday, mobile deep linking accounted for 40% of shopping ads revenue. For the fourth quarter as a whole, shopping ads revenue grew 50% over the same period of 2021.
“I think that is an early indicator of just how much we can do, not only to make more of our content shoppable, but also our ability to drive that full-funnel engagement where we've historically been much stronger at the upper and mid-funnel,” Ready said.
When it comes to consumer categories, Pinterest is seeing particular shopping engagement around women’s fashion and apparel. Ready also sees immediate opportunities in weddings and home redesigns. People seek out Pinterest for ideas, and can end up making purchases.
“We feel like shopping is a broad-based opportunity, while there are some categories that we will lean into first,” Ready said.
The progress caps a year where Pinterest put a strategic focus on shopping with a series of hiring moves and feature upgrades designed for commerce. This included the hiring of Ready as CEO in June. He previously led commerce and payments at Google. Pinterest also acquired AI-powered shopping recommendation platform The Yes in June, and integrated the company’s team and technology. There were signs of shifts taking place recently in the team, as the Yes cofounder Julie Bornstein recently transitioned from chief shopping officer to an advisory role.
The platform pinned shopping in 2022. Look for commerce to become a more obvious part of the Pinterest experience in 2023. Interestingly, Pinterest does not seem to be setting up a “shop” section on the app. Rather, it is making shopping a part of the app sections where its 450 million global monthly active users are already spending time.
It points to an evolution of social commerce. Integrating shopping doesn’t have to mean creating a shop. Rather, it means making existing content shoppable.