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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, marketing leaders from key consumer tech platforms are making the jump to consumer goods, while JC Penney is elevating a chief customer officer to further digital customer experience. Plus, the leadership teams at Vuori and Canada Goose are expanding as the brands gear up for global growth.
Levi’s hires Snap CMO
Kenny Mitchell is joining Levi’s as chief marketing officer. Mitchell comes to the denim brand from Snap, where he served as CMO since 2019 at Snapchat. Previously, he served as vice president of brand content and engagement at McDonald’s USA, and head of consumer engagement at PepsiCo-owned Gatorade.
Mitchell will report to Michelle Gass, who joined Levi Strauss as president last year after serving as the CEO of Kohl’s. Gass has been named the successor to Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh.
“Kenny is widely recognized as an innovative marketing leader and talent builder, with an impressive track record of growing global brands and pioneering digital marketing strategies to accelerate value creation,” said Gass, in a statement.
Farfetch hires TikTok marketing chief
Luxury marketplace Farfetch named Nick Tran as its next chief marketing officer. Tran joins the company from TikTok, where he served as global head of marketing, overseeing consumer-facing marketing. Tran previously served in marketing executive roles at Samsung and Hulu.
“Successful marketing requires constant innovation and a willingness to push the envelope, something that Nick displayed at TikTok, in particular,” said Edward Sabbagh, Farfetch’s chief marketplace officer.
Vuori makes 4 C-suite hires
Activewear brand Vuori hired for key C-suite positions as it eyes global growth. These include:
Hugh Garrity was appointed chief people officer, joining after a stint as global operations at DTC cooler brand Yeti.
Bryan Muehlberger was hired as chief information officer to lead digital and IT across ecommerce and retail. Previously, Muehlberger served as CIO of the Beachbody Company and Redbull.
Libby Stockstill was named the brand’s first general counsel and corporate secretary. She will establish and lead Vuori’s legal department. Previously, Stockstill served as VP and general counsel at Vans and general counsel of Billabong.
Jen Frisch will join Vuori as chief people officer. Previously, she served as SVP of partner resources at Starbucks.
JC Penney promotes chief customer officer
Katie Mullen. (Courtesy photo)
Katie Mullen was named chief customer officer of JC Penney. Mullen is being promoted from the role of chief digital officer.
In the new role, she will continue to oversee ecommerce and omnichannel, while adding a focus on customer marketing, engagement and analytics.
“Creating space for Katie to link our digital technology, customer insights and personalization capabilities and to bring it to life through an integrated, end-to-end customer experience is a natural evolution of her role and will help take us to the next level,” said Marc Rosen, chief executive officer of JCPenney, in a statement.
Mullen previously served as chief digital officer at Neiman Marcus.
Canada Goose appoints 5 senior leaders
Following the rollout of a five-year strategic growth plan that will center on retail expansion and DTC, outerwear brand Canada Goose made key hiring and promotion moves to its senior leadership team. They are:
Matt Blonder was named the brand’s first-ever chief digital officer. He brings over 20 years of experience, most recently with Wolverine Worldwide.
Juliette Streichenberger will serve as president of CGAG and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She joins from Hermès, and previously led teams at LVMH and Prada. With this hire, Pat Sherlock is departing the role after 10 years with Canada Goose.
Ana Mihaljevic was named head of global stores to go along with her current role of president of North America. She will now lead the brand’s long-term roadmap for global expansion.
Daniel Binder was named chief transformation officer and EVP of sales operations and planning. Binder previously held senior roles at LVMH’s DFS and Macy’s.
Patrick Bourke was promoted to SVP of strategy and corporate development, rising from a role leading investor relations and strategy.
Estée Lauder vice chair to retire
Sara Moss. (Courtesy photo)
The Estée Lauder Companies announced that Sara Moss will retire from the role of vice chairman, effective July 1.
Moss joined the beauty company in 2003 as EVP and general counsel before being appointed to her current role.
Moss is credited with leading the company’s legal function and serving as corporate secretary during a period of growth, as well as championing initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as philanthropy.
“Sara is an exceptional legal mind, a skilled advisor, a valued mentor, and a much-loved leader whose strategic insights, business acumen and sound judgment have contributed greatly to our company’s success,” said Estée Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda, in a statement. “Her incredible character, steadfast integrity and deep empathy will be greatly missed across the organization.”
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.”