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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 brought CEO successions at Keurig Dr. Pepper and Shiseido Group, a new private label chief at Dick’s and board moves at Lululemon and Under Armour.
Here’s a look at who’s making moves:
Ozan Dokmeciogluresigned from the role of CEO at Keurig Dr. Pepper just four months after rising to the position from the CFO role. KDP said Dokmecioglu resigned “due to violations of the Company's Code of Conduct that were unrelated to strategy, operations or financial reporting,” but did not specify what the violation concerned. Executive Chairman and former CEO Bob Gamgort returned to the CEO role following the resignation.
"Keurig Dr Pepper's Code of Conduct is built on a foundation of ethics, integrity and personal responsibility. Every employee, without exception, is accountable for knowing and following the Code," said Paul S. Michaels, Lead Director of the KDP Board, in a statement.
Adam Minto stepped down as CEO of Revolution Beauty,Reuters reported. The move came about a month after Minto halted day-to-day activities amid an accounting-related investigation. Trading in UK-based Revolution Beauty was suspended on Sept. 1 after it did not release results of an audit ahead of the deadline.
Masahiko Uotani signaled plans to retire as CEO of Japanese cosmetic conglomerate Shiseido Group, Beauty Packaging reported. The move will come within the next two years. WIth this, the Group promoted Kentaro Fujiwara from CEO of the China region to president and COO. This indicates that Fujiwara is the likely successor to Uotani, and signals a focus on China for the company.
Jarvis Sam will depart the role of chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Nike, Business Insider reported. A Nike employee since 2018, Sam was in the role for six months after succeeding Felicia Mayo. Sam previously served as head of global diversity and inclusion at Snap. Now, he is leaving to pursue personal projects to promote DEI in other categories, BI reports.
Kate Jhaveri. (Courtesy photo)
Kate Jhaveri was named global head of marketing at TikTok, she said in a LinkedIn post. Jhaveri previously served as chief marketing officer at the NBA. She has also held senior roles at Twitch, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft. “There is no more creative, educational, engaging and culture-defining community than TikTok & I'm thrilled I have the opportunity to help shape this brand and tell this community's amazing stories,” she wrote.
Bart Sichel was named EVP, chief marketing and customer officer at Bed Bath & Beyond. Sichel will oversee these functions at Bed Bath & Beyond, buybuy BABY and Harmon. Sichel was previously chief marketing officer at Burlington Stores for eight years, and spent 13 years at McKinsey and Company. The hire comes amid a wave of change in the executive ranks as the home retailer faces flagging sales. Over the last month, interim CEO Sue Gove was appointed to the permanent role, while EVP and Chief Customer Officer Rafeh Masood departed the company last week.
Chad Kessler was appointed as EVP of vertical brands at Dick's Sporting Goods, Fashion Network reported. He will oversee private label brands including Calia, DSG and Alpine, as well as various hardlines. Kessler joins the company from American Eagle, where he spearheaded the development and launch of denim brand AE77 and drove the acquisition of menswear company Todd Snyder.
Ross Salupo. (Courtesy photo)
Ross Salupo was appointed as chief technology officer at ecommerce aggregator Society Brands. Salupo brings 15 years of experience working with “high scale data systems,” including products that serve consumer brands and Amazon marketplace. The news came as Society launched a new platform called EVO, which helps to integrate brands that it acquires into unified customer service, fulfillment, logistics, demand planning, marketing and financial analysis.
Wes Moore stepped down from the board of Under Armour following his election as the governor of Maryland. Moore joined the Baltimore-based performance apparel brand’s board in October 2020, while he was serving as CEO of the charitable foundation Robin Hood. "It has been a pleasure serving on Under Armour's board and sharing my passion for purpose and community with the brand," said Moore.
Wes Moore. (Mayor Meehan & Gubernatorial Candidate Wes Moore | Ocean Cit… | Flickr www.flickr.com)
Isabel Ge Mahe was appointed to the board of directors at Lululemon. Ge Mahe is VP and managing director of Greater China for Apple, and has played a role in developing China-specific features for Apple. She previously served as VP of wireless services for the consumer tech giant.
“We are excited to welcome Isabel to the lululemon Board of Directors and know her breadth of expertise in product development and leadership, as well as her deep knowledge of the business and guests in China will be invaluable as we continue to grow and execute on our international expansion strategy,” said Martha Morfitt, chair of the board at Lululemon.
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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.