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Welcome to On the Move. In this hiring-focused weekly feature, The Current is rounding up recent arrivals and departures at brands and retailers across the ecommerce landscape.
This week, we’ve got updates on leadership transitions at Thrasio and Osprey, news about a quartet of new CMOs and key growth roles at Nike and Reebok.
Here’s a full roundup:
At Thrasio, layoffs and a new CEO
Greg Greeley (Courtesy photo)
Ecommerce aggregator Thrasio announced a new CEO this week. Greg Greeley, formerly an executive with Amazon and AirBnB, will succeed Carlos Cashman, a cofounder who will remain on the company’s board. The change is effective in August.
Launched in 2018, Thrasio is among the most prominent among businesses that pioneered a model of acquiring consumer goods brands selling on Amazon, and applying tech and operations expertise across a portfolio to unlock growth. The Boston-based company owns more than 200 brands.
At the same time as the CEO shift, the company is also making layoffs. According to Techcrunch, the Thrasio is set to inform “a portion” of its staff of layoffs this week as part of a reorganization designed to “properly absorb and grow the businesses we have acquired, make sure we have rigorous processes and controls, and then look to re-scale our team in the optimal areas for growth," leaders wrote in a memo.
Tapestry hires David L. Casey as chief inclusion and social impact officer
David L. Casey (Courtesy photo)
Tapestry, Inc., the parent of luxury brands including Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, hired David L. Casey as chief inclusion and social impact officer. The newly created position is designed to reflect the company’s “ongoing commitment to building Tapestry’s inclusive culture and creating a company that truly reflects the diversity of its customers,” according to an announcement.
Casey previously served in chief diversity officer roles at CVS Health and Anthem.
“Tapestry’s approach to corporate responsibility is based on driving real, measurable change towards a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable world,” Tapestry CEO Joanne Crevoiserat said in a statement. “We believe that difference sparks brilliance and are building a culture where all our employees can be their authentic selves. To that end, we are extremely pleased that David is joining our leadership team. He brings to Tapestry over 20 years of experience in strategic EI&D work and is widely recognized as an expert in the field. David’s passion for EI&D will be invaluable as we build on the strong foundation and inclusive culture already in place.”
Nike’s new DTC and digital VPPhoto by wu yi on Unsplash
Maggie Gauger was promoted to the role of global VP of direct acceleration, Footwear News reported on Monday, citing a LinkedIn post. Gauger has 20 years of experience at the apparel and footwear brand, having most recently led a team of more than 150 people as VP of marketplace. Gauger will play a key leadership role in Nike’s Consumer Direct Acceleration strategy, which includes emphasizing DTC and digital channels, while at the same time pulling back from some wholesale channels.
Shannon Watkins is the new CMO at Jordan Brand
Shannon Watkins. (Photo via Aflac)
In other news from Nike, Jordan Brand named Shannon Watkins as chief marketing officer.
Watkins most recently served as chief brand and marketing officer at Aflac, where she played a key role in a partnership with ESPN's College Gameday, and drove a renewed focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Sportico reported.
“We need innovative leadership, someone who can lead us into the future by pushing creativity, championing diversity, and bringing our purpose to life,” Jordan Brand CEO Craig Williams told Sportico. “Shannon’s experience across multiple industries and business sectors will do just that, helping to lead our marketing efforts into the future.”
Watkins' appointment comes after a lengthy search to replace Sean Tresvant, who is now chief brand officer at Taco Bell. She begins in the role on May 16.
Robaire named EVP of Reebok International
Steve Robaire (Courtesy photo)
Steve Robaire is the new EVP of Reebok International, parent company Authentic Brands Group announced.
The longtime Reebok executive is being tapped to lead the sportswear brand’s global expansion, and serve as the first point of contact for Reebok’s international partners.
Over a nearly 15-year career with Reebok, Robaire honed international experience while serving in Greater China, Amsterdam and Paris.
“Steve’s track record in growing Reebok’s market share and sales growth in Greater China and Europe makes him an excellent leader for driving Reebok’s business across all international markets,” said Reebok Chief Brand Officer Jarrod Weber, in a statement. “There’s an incredible appetite for the brand across key markets, and with Steve leading the charge, we are primed for success.”
The appointment is effective July 1.
Overstock brings on Angela Hsu as CMO
Angela Hsu (Courtesy photo)
Home goods marketplace Overstock named Angela Hsu as its new chief marketing officer, according to Furniture Today. Bringing more than 25 years of experience in marketing areas including digital, ecommerce and social media, Hsu previously held leadership roles at Lamps Plus, News Corp and Warner Bros.
“I’m humbled by the opportunity to collaborate with a group of incredibly talented marketers and a winning executive leadership team,” Hsu said in a LinkedIn post announcing the move. “I look forward to shaping the way we create dream homes for all and delivering sustainable, profitable market share growth.”
Osprey Packs CEO steps down
Layne Rigney (Courtesy photo)
Outdoors brand Osprey Packs announced the departure of CEO Layne Rigney, effective April 28, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports. Rigney joined the company as president in 2016 before assuming the role of CEO. He overaw the launch of Osprey’s DTC channel, and recently guided the company through a $414 million acquisition by consumer goods company Helen of Troy.
In appointment news, Noel Geoffroy will join the Helen of Troy as chief operating officer on May 9, overseeing day-to-day business. Geoffroy brings 25 years of experience in president and general manager roles at Sanofi, Kellogg, H. J. Heinz and Procter & Gamble.
Dickies appoints Sarah Crockett as CMO
Sarah Crockett (Courtesy photo)
VF Corp.-owned workwear brand Dickies appointed Sarah Crockett as global chief marketing officer as the company gets ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Crockett brings prior CMO experience from Backcountry and Burton Snowbards, as well as marketing leadership roles at Vans and REI.
“As we continue to focus on global growth, I know Sarah’s expertise will help accelerate our business through a digital-first mindset as we look to deepen our relationships with consumer communities globally,” said Dickies Brand President Denny Bruce, in a LinkedIn post.
PF Flyers brings on Lisa Lewis as CMO
Lisa Lewis (Courtesy photo)
Lifestyle shoe company PF Flyers hired Lisa Lewis as chief marketing officer. In the role, Lewis will be leading a relaunch of the brand. She brings 20 years of experience at brands including Piaggio Fast Forward, Sonos Inc., Converse’s Chuck Taylor Brand, Puma and Keds.
Founded in 1937, PF Flyers was acquired by DTC entrepreneur Kassia Davis from New Balance in 2021.
"After an extensive search, we've finally found a marketing executive who I think is the perfect fit for our brand. Lisa's industry experience is unmatched, and I'm very excited to see where we can take PF Flyers with her pioneering the marketing strategy," Davis said in a statement.
Alibaba’s latest leadership shifts
Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba made the following leadership changes among the services it owns, according to the South China Morning Post.
- Alibaba Group Holding CEO Daniel Zhang Yong stepped down from the role of legal representative at Alibaba-owned Taobao Marketplace and Tmall. Trudy Dai Shan, a founding member of Alibaba, succeeded him as legal representative at both companies.
- Jiang Fan also stepped aside from the roles of legal representative, chairman and general manager at the holding companies. Fan runs Alibaba’s overseas ecommerce business.
The moves follow a management shuffle in December that included the introduction of a new CFO and the appointment of new leaders for its ecommerce divisions. It arrived as Alibaba is facing increasing regulatory pressure from the Chinese government.
Trending in Careers
Computer vision and mobile deep linking are helping to connect content and commerce on the visual social platform.
Pinterest is aiming to make shopping a “core” of the product experience on the visual social platform in 2023, executives said.
On an earnings call to recap the fourth quarter of 2022 on Monday, CEO Bill Ready said 50% of users view Pinterest as a place to shop, and the platform wants to make it easier for them to do so by integrating more shoppable content into the platform's most-used areas.
“In our endeavor to make Pinterest the home of taste-based shopping, we're integrating shopping across our most trafficked surfaces, including home feed, search, and related pins, to show users products most relevant to them,” Ready said. “Over the long term, we also want to make every pin shoppable.”
This will include new technology. Pinterest plans to deploy computer vision to make products and videos shoppable.
It will also include changes to the experience. Pinterest wants to take users directly to a product detail page on a merchant’s app. One way it does this is through mobile deep linking on shopping ads. These helped lead to an 8% increase in visual search shopping relevance.
The approach is showing early results. During Black Friday-Cyber Monday, mobile deep linking accounted for 40% of shopping ads revenue. For the fourth quarter as a whole, shopping ads revenue grew 50% over the same period of 2021.
“I think that is an early indicator of just how much we can do, not only to make more of our content shoppable, but also our ability to drive that full-funnel engagement where we've historically been much stronger at the upper and mid-funnel,” Ready said.
When it comes to consumer categories, Pinterest is seeing particular shopping engagement around women’s fashion and apparel. Ready also sees immediate opportunities in weddings and home redesigns. People seek out Pinterest for ideas, and can end up making purchases.
“We feel like shopping is a broad-based opportunity, while there are some categories that we will lean into first,” Ready said.
The progress caps a year where Pinterest put a strategic focus on shopping with a series of hiring moves and feature upgrades designed for commerce. This included the hiring of Ready as CEO in June. He previously led commerce and payments at Google. Pinterest also acquired AI-powered shopping recommendation platform The Yes in June, and integrated the company’s team and technology. There were signs of shifts taking place recently in the team, as the Yes cofounder Julie Bornstein recently transitioned from chief shopping officer to an advisory role.
The platform pinned shopping in 2022. Look for commerce to become a more obvious part of the Pinterest experience in 2023. Interestingly, Pinterest does not seem to be setting up a “shop” section on the app. Rather, it is making shopping a part of the app sections where its 450 million global monthly active users are already spending time.
It points to an evolution of social commerce. Integrating shopping doesn’t have to mean creating a shop. Rather, it means making existing content shoppable.