This Week in Commerce: Nike earnings, Fed rate decision
Check out the agenda for March 20-24.
Check out the agenda for March 20-24.
Welcome to a new week. Spring is here. That means blossoms, but it also means new fashion trends in the street and campaigns on our screens. On the calendar, earnings offer a bellwether for the consumer economy this week, as key brands like Nike and General Mills will report results. Elsewhere, all eyes will be on the Federal Reserve as it announces its latest decision on interest rates.
Fed interest rate decision: The Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee announces its decision on whether and by how much to hike benchmark interest rates following its two-day meeting. The Fed has been hiking interest rates rapidly in an effort to bring down 40-year-high inflation, but slowed the pace at the February meeting with a 0.25% increase. (March 22, 2 p.m.)
Durable goods orders: The U.S. Commerce Department releases data on orders from manufacturers for goods that are designed to last more than three years. This is considered an indicator of business activity. In January, orders dropped at the steepest rate since April 2020. (March 24, 8:30 a.m.)
Monday, March 20: Boxed, Foot Locker
Tuesday, March 21: Nike, GameStop
Wednesday, March 22: Petco, Chewy
Thursday, March 23: General Mills, Express
On the Move has hiring updates from Nike, Bath & Body Works and more.
This week, new CEOs are taking the controls following periods of turbulence at Tonal, Quiet Logistics and Forma Brands. Plus, Bath & Body Works makes room for tech and customer chiefs in the leadership ranks, and Nike’s longtime communications head is retiring.
Here's a look at the latest moves:
Krystal Zell was appointed to the role of CEO at home strength training platform Tonal. Zell is rising to the top role after joining the company as president in July. She brings more than 20 years of experience from The Home Depot and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
With this move, Aly Orady, who founded the company in 2015, will transition to the role of chief technology officer.
The leadership transition comes as Tonal raised $130 million in new funding as part of a recapitalization effort. The financing was led by L Catterton, Cobalt, Dragoneer, Kindred Ventures and THVC.
It comes amid a broader reset in the at-home fitness market following a boom during the pandemic. Last July, the DTC brand laid off 35% of staff in a move to become a more self-sustaining profitable business, Orady said at the time. According to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, the latest funding round values the company between $550 million and $600 million, which is down from as much as $1.6 billion in 2021.
Shekar Natarajan stepped down from the top leadership role at Quiet Platforms, the logistics arm of American Eagle Outfitters, according to Business Insider.
Niall Murphy will take over as head of the company. Quiet COO Brent Beabout also left the company. The moves come after Quiet Platforms posted growth below expectations.
AEO acquired Quiet Logistics for $360 million in 2021, and quickly moved forward with plans to position the company as a logistics partner to AEO as well as other brands and retailers. Natarajan was outspoken in urging others to join Quiet in a "frenemy" network that would enable retailers to take on Amazon and Walmart. The news of his exit indicates that the bid to turn supply chain into an engine of growth hasn’t gone according to plan.
Cliff Moskowitz joined Forma Brands as CEO following the company’s exit from bankruptcy. Moskowitz brings more than 20 years of experience to the role, having served as CEO of apparel brand Outdoor Voices and managed InterLuxe Holdings.
Forma Brands, which is the parent company of beauty retailer Morphe, was acquired by investors following a bankruptcy filing earlier this year.
Along with the bankruptcy filing, the company closed U.S. Morphe stores, and sold the assets of Ariana Grande’s beauty brand r.e.m. to the singer.
Logistics tech company GreyOrange named cofounder Akash Gupta to the role of CEO. Cofounder Samay Kohli will continue to serve on the board.
Over a decade, Gupta and Kohli worked together to helm the company as it grew automated robotic fulfillment and inventory optimization software, which is called GreyMatter. Previously, Gupta served as chief product officer and CTO.
Bath & Body Works announced a series of leadership changes and restructuring. They include:
Thilina Gunasinghe was appointed chief digital and technology officer. She joins from McDonald’s Corporation, where she most recently served as Global Vice President, Chief Technology Architect & Data Officer. The new role will include oversight of digital and technology strategy, digital operations, data and analytics, as well as transformation.
Wendy Arlin will step down as chief financial officer of the retailer in a move that will be effective July 29, or earlier depending on the timing of a successor’s hire.
The new role of chief customer officer is being created, and the company has a search underway for this leader.
Julie Rosen will continue to serve as president of retail, now overseeing all retail channels of the business, product functions and the new business opportunities teams.
KeJuan Wilkins. (Courtesy photo)
Nike, Inc. named KeJuan Wilkins the next EVP and chief communications officer. This comes as Nigel Powell announced plans to retire from the top comms role at the sportswear brand after 24 years.
Wilkins previously led corporate and employee communications globally for Nike, and led communications for Nike in North America and the Jordan Brand.
CEO John Donahoe said Powell has been “a visionary communicator leading and driving some of the biggest, most complex, and impactful moments for the brand.”