15 November 2022
CEO shifts at Keurig Dr. Pepper, Revolution Beauty, Shisiedo Group
On the Move has hiring updates from TIkTok, Society Brands, Dick's Sporting Goods and more.
On the Move has hiring updates from TIkTok, Society Brands, Dick's Sporting Goods and more.
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 Dokmecioglu resigned 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.
New tools from Adobe and Levi's generate product images in multiple variations.
AI is at the top of the conversation across technology in 2023, as new models such as ChatGPT and GPT4 show how ingesting and training large amounts of data can not only help businesses find insights in what already exists, but create something new.
While there is plenty of off-hours time being devoted to experimentation with these new models, the uses of tools that bring together automation and creativity in a way that is valuable for businesses and embraced by their customers are still coming into view.
In ecommerce, the promise of AI appears to be massive. Across marketplaces, advertising and customer service, brands and retailers have seen demands for content and customer touchpoints grow exponentially. With executives constantly in search of efficiency, AI tools stand to help generate voluminous content at scale.
To be sure, it remains early days. AI has not yet arrived permanently in ecommerce workflows, and some of the tools that lead to it arriving may not use the same models that are gaining so much press today. But the teams inside brands and retailers are interested in experimenting with this technology, and pilots can offer hints at where it might be heading.
This week delivered a pair of new launches from Levi’s and Adobe that showed how new tools can help to change how product images are generated. Let's take a look:
Photoshoots featuring models wearing products in real-world settings have long been a staple of the marketing playbook in fashion. Levi’s is piloting a new approach that could bring AI into the equation.
Through a partnership with Amsterdam-based Lalaland.ai, Levi Strauss is planning to test the use of customized, AI-generated models. Designed to supplement human models, Lalaland.ai’s technology is built to help show products for a diverse range of body types, ages, size and skin tones.
Levi’s positioned this as a move to supplement human models. Typically, a product page on the Levi’s app or website only has one model. Using this technology to create multiple images can help create a way for customers to see themselves represented in the products that are shown. It can also help to increase diversity, equity and inclusion within Levi's ecommerce stores, the company said.
“While AI will likely never fully replace human models for us, we are excited for the potential capabilities this may afford us for the consumer experience,” said Dr. Amy Gershkoff Bolles, global head of digital and emerging technology strategy at Levi Strauss & Co., in a statement. “We see fashion and technology as both an art and a science, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Lalaland.ai, a company with such high-quality technology that can help us continue on our journey for a more diverse and inclusive customer experience.”
A new tool from Adobe is also aiming to automate the work of showing images in multiple variations on ecommerce stores, but this goes beyond fashion.
According to Reuters, the new tool is designed to allow ecommerce brands and retailers to create 3D images that show products from a range of categories in a variety of formats and configurations, as well as settings. It can be used for home goods, toys, furniture, apparel and more. Product images are used across a range of content, from product pages to emails to social campaigns. So the content needs for brands and retailers are voluminous. From Reuters:
But even keeping up with making renderings has created a tremendous amount of work for e-commerce companies as marketing campaigns have become more tightly targeted, said Francois Cottin, senior director of marketing for Adobe's Substance 3D business.
For example, Cottin said, a company selling a coffee machine might want to show the gadget against a different background in different countries, because German kitchens might look different from California kitchens. Most companies have to tap 3D artists to create each image.
This advance is as much about transforming the work of teams as it is about creating the variations of product images themselves. 3D models are currently used by many of the large ecommerce players, but creating them remains the work of large teams with specialty skills in visual effects. The images then head to the hands of marketers and merchandisers who find a home for them on product pages within the customer experience.
Automation can help make all of this work more efficient. Such a tool could also have a huge impact on smaller brands and retailers. If these capabilities move into wider release, a pool of content that would’ve only been available to the most-resourced companies now could be opened up for everyone to use.
While Adobe typically works with enterprises and this product is likely designed for that market segment, its release presents a question worth asking for the future: Will AI be the next ecommerce advance that further levels the playing field between storied brands and fast-rising startups?