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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, Newell Brands is planning a succession in its leadership ranks, Instacart Ads is bringing on a media industry veteran and a Target executive joins Shipt. Plus, get the latest hiring and promotion news from Thrasio, Kohl’s and Asos.
CEO, board chair succession at Newell Brands
Chris Peterson was appointed CEO of Newell Brands, the owner of Sharpie markers and Yankee Candle.
With the move, CEO Ravi Saligram will retire, effective May 16.
Peterson joined the company in December 2018, and has served in a variety of senior roles including CFO, president of business operations and interim CEO. Prior to joining Newell, he held senior executive roles at Revlon Inc., Ralph Lauren and Procter & Gamble.
The company also announced changes to its board of directors: Retired 3M executive Patrick Campbell will transition out of the chair role, and be succeeded by former Procter and Gamble executive Robert Steele. Gary Hu, a portfolio manager with Icahn Capital, is also joining the board.
The moves come after a reorganization was initiated at the consumer goods company that saw the company lay off 13% of its workforce.
Newell Brands saw revenue decline 10.7% year-over-year in 2022, and said it faced a “difficult second half” amid consumer pullback as a result of inflation. In 2023, the company said it is planning for a “recessionary environment” as headwinds continue.
Meta business chief to leave
Marne Levine. (Courtesy photo)
Marne Levine is leaving Meta, exiting the role of chief business officer after 13 years with the company.
Before stepping into the CBO role in 2021, Levine led policy, served as COO of Instagram and led ads and partnerships at Facebook.
With this move, Meta is making a pair of promotions in its ad and business executive ranks:
Nicola Mendelsohn is adding leadership of global partnerships and engineering to the role of head of global business group.
Justin Osofsky, who currently serves as head of online sales, operations and partnerships, will add revenue generation responsibilities, leading sales and operations targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.
“Nicola has a strong, well-earned reputation in the ad industry, and Justin has a unique combination of product, operations and business experience that will serve him well in this new role,” said Meta COO Javier Olivan, in a statement.
Instacart Ads gains VP
Tim Castelli. (Courtesy photo)
Tim Castelli was named VP of global advertising sales at Instacart.
He joins the grocery technology company from a role as chief revenue officer at iHeartMedia’s multi-platform group. He was also an SVP of sales at AOL and served as technology industry director for Google. Previously, he served as publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine, and held leadership positions at Ziff Davis Media.
“With more than 30 years of experience, Tim has deep expertise and a proven track record of innovating in traditional industries, creating high-impact advertising strategies, and leading large, effective sales teams,” said Chris Rogers, Chief Business Officer at Instacart.
Shipt names chief people and community officer
Amy Benson (Courtesy photo)
Amy Benson joined Shipt as chief people and community officer, leading human resources and DEI at the 1,500-employee delivery service. Benson will also lead national and local corporate giving, economic development and community engagement.
Benson joins Shipt from parent company Target, where she served as a VP of human resources, supporting merchandising, strategy, product design and sourcing capabilities.
"Amy's reputation as a strategic leader in developing talent and fostering community brings the expertise we need to continue building upon Shipt's strong company culture,” said CEO Kamau Witherspoon, in a statement.
Kohl’s names chief of merchandising, digital
Nick Jones was appointed chief merchandising and digital officer at Kohl’s.
Jones will be responsible for buying, digital and omnichannel merchandising, product design and development, and product portfolio strategy. Jones was most recently CEO of Joules Group, and previously managed the George brand at ASDA/Walmart UK and served as the chief merchant at the UK retailer.
Jones’ appointment comes a week after Kohl’s named Tom Kingsbury as the permanent CEO of the department store retailer.
Thrasio adds Amazon veteran as CCO
Steven Shure. (Courtesy photo)
Steven Shure is joining Amazon aggregator Thrasio as president and chief commercial officer.
Shure brings experience leading Amazon Prime in its early days, then served as VP of Amazon Worldwide Consumer Marketing, as well as senior roles in supply chain and Amazon Web Services.
With this hire, Danny Boockvar is taking on a new position at Thrasio as president of mergers and acquisitions and new venture, where he will oversee the company’s brick and mortar wholesale business.
Asos names interim CFO
Online apparel retailer Asos said Sean Glithero will serve as interim CFO, beginning in May. Glithero is a former CFO at Auto Trader Group, Funding Circle Holdings and MatchesFashion.
Current interim CFO Katy Mecklenburgh is set to depart as Glithero steps in.
The move comes as Asos is in the midst of changes that resulted in a new 12-member leadership team. It plans to report interim results in May.
Trending in Brand News
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.