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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, we’ve got details on how the CEO role will be changing hands at The Prada Group and Hain Celestial, while Glossier’s former CMO rises to the leading executive role at Loop. Meanwhile, there are key C-level and VP hires at L’Oreal USA, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Shein and Faire.
Ali Weiss was appointed as CEO of baby gear rental startup Loop. Weiss previously served as chief marketing officer of beauty brand Glossier, leading marketing, brand and community initiatives that shaped the direct-to-consumer playbook. Founded in 2021 by DVx Ventures, Loop operates on a membership model that allows families to rent toys and baby gear.
The Prada Group has set a management succession plan that will see Andrea Guerra positioned to become the next CEO of the luxury house. Guerra, a former senior advisor at LVMH Moët Hennessy, is set to be recommended at the group’s board meeting on Jan. 26. At a shareholders meeting, current co-CEO Patrizio Bertelli will be recommended as chairman, while co-CEO Miuccia Prada will remain creative director of Miu Miu and Prada. Meanwhile, current chairman Paolo Zannoni will be suggested as executive deputy chairman of the board of directors of Prada S.p.A. and, at the same time, chairman of Prada Holding S.p.A.
“This is a fundamental step we have decided to undertake, while completely engaged in the company, to contribute more to the evolution of the Prada Group and to ease the succession of Lorenzo Bertelli, the future leader of the group,” said Bertelli and Miuccia Prada, in a statement. “We thank Andrea Guerra for being willing to take the job, with the aim of achieving a steady and sustainable growth.” Lorenzo Bertelli is the son of the current co-CEOs.
Andrea Guerra. (Courtesy photo)
Hain Celestial, the natural food group, announced a leadership succession plan, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Wendy P. Davidson will become the CEO of the company, bringing executive experience from Glanbia Performance Nutrition, Away from Home, Kellogg Company, McCormick and Company and Tyson Foods. She will succeed Mark L. Schiller, who will serve as a nonexecutive member of the board going forward.
Francis Pierrel departedUrban Outfitters Group as company president, according to an announcement from parent company Urban Outfitters, Inc. Pierrel gave few details about the move, but said, “We appreciate the contributions he made during his tenure and wish him well in his future endeavors.” Pierrel joined Urban Outfitters in February following work at Club Monaco.
Jessica Liu will join fast fashion giant Shein as VP of global brand operations, according to a LinkedIn post. Liu is joining Shein from ecommerce company Lazada, where she served as president. She also worked at Alibaba, which is the parent of Lazada, and Amazon. "Jessica brings rich experience in the ecommerce sector across global markets, and we look forward to having her join the Shein growth story," said Shein, in a statement.
Ami Vora. (Courtesy photo)
Ami Vora will join Faire as the B2B ecommerce marketplace’s first chief product officer. Vora previously spent more than 15 years at Meta, joining when the company was at 100 employees. She had stints leading the largest product team at the company, and helping to create ads for Facebook and Instagram. Vora most recently served as VP of product and design for WhatsApp.
Dr. Karin Rotem-Wildeman was hired as chief research and development officer at Keurig Dr. Pepper. She is the successor to David Thomas, who is retiring after 16 years in the role. Bringing 25 years of experience, Rotem-Wildeman previously served as chief scientific officer at plant-based startup Livekindly Collective, and served in R&D leadership roles at Godiva and PepsiCo. She will lead product development, packaging innovation, flavor technology and associated R&D capabilities.
Foot Locker announced a series of executive changes under new CEO Mary Dillon that are designed in part to separate commercial activities from supply chain and IT functions:
- Frank Bracken, a 12-year veteran of Foot Locker, will serve as EVP and chief commercial officer, overseeing a number of retail functions including digital and ecommerce.
- Elliott Rodgers is joining as EVP and chief operations officer, bringing experience from eight years in supply chain and operations leadership roles at Ulta Beauty.
- Andrew Page is transitioning out of Foot Locker’s CFO role, and the company will conduct an executive search for his successor.
- Rosalind Reeves was promoted to EVP and chief human resource officer. With more than 25 years of experience, she will succeed Elizabeth Norberg, who is stepping down after a transition period.
- Robert Higginbotham, who served as VP of investor relations, was promoted to the role of SVP of investor relations and financial planning and analysis on Dec. 1.
Rahquel Purcellwill become the first chief transformation officer for North America at L’Oreal USA. With more than two decades of supply chain management experience, Purcell previously served as COO for North America, leading the beauty company’s pandemic response. “The development of the Transformation Office under Rahquel’s leadership is an opportunity to continuously drive an ambitious, strategic evolution of our business model across operations and functions, organizational design, core business tools and more,” said said David Greenberg, L’Oréal USA’s CEO and president of North America, in a statement.
Kady Srinivasan is joining Lightspeed Commerce as chief marketing officer. Srinivasan is a former marketing executive at Klaviyo and Dropbox, as well as infant health platform Owlet Baby Care. Lightspeed provides a one-stop commerce platform for omnichannel sales and operations, as well as expansion, payments and finance.
Eric Shellenback is joining freeze-dried fruit snack brand Crispy Green as chief operating officer. Shellenback brings more than 25 years of experience form The Quaker Oats Company and Nestlé, and served as a divisional president of Haagan Daz Retail and Preferred Meal. Shellenback will oversee day-to-day operations at the company, reporting to founder Angela Liu.
Ray Silva was tapped to become executive vice president of stores at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Silva is joining Dick’s from Best Buy, where he served most recently as chief people officer, and previously as president of retail, where he oversaw sales across all customer touchpoints. He will served as a member of the company's executive leadership team.Sarah Piper was promoted to chief human relations officer at McCormick and Co. In this role, she will be responsible for the global people strategy at the Maryland-based spicemaker, including talent management, learning, total rewards, diversity, equity and inclusion, employee engagement and wellbeing and employee relations. Piper initially joined McCormick in 2007, and rose to the role of SVP for global human relations business partners.
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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.