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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, VF Corporation’s CEO decides to retire, while Amazon’s S-team has four new members. Plus, C-level executives are joining Tyson Foods, dunnhumby and Fetch Rewards.
Steve Rendle will retire as CEO of VF Corporation, which is the owner of apparel brands Vans, The North Face, Timberland and Dickies. Rendle served as CEO for the last five years, and worked at VF Corp. for nearly 25 years. Benno Dorer, a lead independent director of the company’s board, will serve as interim CEO with a search is commenced. The news came as VF Corp. cut its outlook for fiscal year 2023, owing to weaker than anticipated consumer demand, a more elevated promotional environment, inventory issues, the impact of inflation in Europe and COVID disruptions in China.
Gianfranco D’Attis was appointed CEO of the Prada brand, effective Jan. 2, 2023. D’Attis comes to Prada from Christian Dior Americas, where he served as president. The move follows last week’s news that Andrea Guerra will become the next CEO of The Prada Group, which oversees a luxury portfolio that includes the Prada brand.
Melanie Boulden. (Courtesy photo)
Melanie Boulden was appointed EVP and chief growth officer at Tyson Foods, effective Feb. 6, 2023. In this role, Boulden will oversee consumer and corporate branding, innovation, R&D, communications, and consumer insights and analytics. Boulden previously held leadership positions at Coca-Cola, most recently serving as CEO of Coca-Cola North America. She is also a board member of Adobe, and has held marketing leadership roles at Reebok, Crayola, Kraft Foods and Henkel Consumer Goods.
Amazon made a series of promotions to its vaunted S-Team (or, Steam, as it is known internally), which is the senior leadership core of the ecommerce giant. Leaders joining the decisionmaking unit include:
- Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music
- Candi Castleberry, VP of Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
- Udit Madan, VP of transportation
- Rob Williams, AWS
Matt O’Grady was hired by customer data science firm dunnhumby as president of the Americas, driving growth in North and South America. O’Grady previously served as executive media consultant at media and data consulting firm 12th Street Measurement. He previously served in a number of leadership roles at Nielsen, including CEO of Nielsen Catalina Solutions.
Jordin Sparks. (Courtesy photo)
Jordin Sparks, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, was named brand ambassador of haircare brand Cantu Beauty. Sparks will help to spotlight Cantu’s community initiatives, including a partnership with Women Empowering Nations. "It's a dream to be working with Cantu to help uplift the next generation of women who are on their own unique and powerful journeys to building their bright futures," Sparks said, in a statement.
Fetch Rewards, the rewards app and consumer engagement platform that works with CPG companies, added a pair of C-level executives that will provide leadership as the company scales tech and operational capacity. They are:
- Charles McColgan joined as chief information officer, bringing experience as CTO at communications platform TeleSign and Microsoft-acquired security platform FrontBridge Technologies.
- Wade Bruce was promoted to chief technology officer from principal engineering lead, and will now lead all software engineering and DevOps. Prior to Fetch, he held tech leadership roles at insurtech startup Bunker, social media management startup Spredfast (now Khoros) and State Farm.
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The cuts amount to 4% of the ecommerce platform's workforce.
eBay is set to become the latest ecommerce platform to conduct layoffs.
The company announced plans on Tuesday to lay off 500 employees, which amounts to about 4% of its workforce. Layoffs were set to take place over the next 24 hours, the company said Tuesday evening.
In an SEC filing, CEO Jamie Iannone said the decision to make layoffs came after consideration of the macroeconomic environment and where the company could best invest for the long-term.
Iannone said the moves “are designed to strengthen our ability to deliver better end-to-end experiences for our customers and to support more innovation and scale across our platform.”
“Importantly, this shift gives us additional space to invest and create new roles in high-potential areas — new technologies, customer innovations and key markets — and to continue to adapt and flex with the changing macro, ecommerce and technology landscape,” Iannone wrote. “We’re also simplifying our structure to make decisions more effectively and with more speed.”
eBay is one of the oldest ecommerce platforms, and remains an active marketplace for both new and resale items. The San Francisco-based company has yet to report results for the fourth quarter of 2022. In the third quarter, the company said gross merchandise volume was down 11%, and revenue was down 5% year-over-year.
Yet the company has also continued to invest. In 2022, it acquired collectibles platform TCGPlayer and myFitment, which provides parts and accessories for automotive and powersports. It also opened a secure vault for trading cards, and launched livestreaming.
eBay is also seeing a boost from advertising, with revenue driven by promoted listings up 19% in the third quarter.
With the layoffs, eBay joins other tech companies that provide the infrastructure of ecommerce in making layoffs. Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce, BigCommerce and Wayfair have all recently announced layoffs. Technology giants like Meta, Google and Microsoft have also made job cuts.
It comes as inflation is weighing on consumers’ discretionary spending, and the return to more in-person shopping throughout 2022 led to a correction following aggressive hiring during the pandemic.