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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, Dave Clark is heading from Amazon to Flexport, while Columbia Sportswear, American Outdoor Brands and Quiksilver are making key hires.
Check out the details:
Dave Clark to take the helm at Flexport
Dave Clark. (Courtesy of Amazon)
Following on the heels of the announcement that he will be leaving Amazon on July 1, Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark revealed his new destination.
Clark will join logistics tech company Flexport as CEO in September, he said in a LinkedIn post. Clark will be in a co-CEO role alongside Flexport Founder Ryan Petersen for the first six months before taking the reins solo.
Clark brings plenty of supply chain experience, having architected Amazon’s massive logistics buildout over the last decade, then rising to become the CEO of its ecommerce business at a time when the supply chain was at its most taxed during the pandemic.
He will lead a company that has gained a high profile in part due to the outsize personality of Petersen. It is also the rare tech company to tackle freight and logistics, which Clark called “an area where few technology companies have dared to tread because of the vast array of regulatory rules, intimidating geographical distances and siloed network of providers.”
“Ryan and his team have grown the business to an impressive size and scale and customers love it,” Clark wrote in the LinkedIn post. “I firmly believe that the true potential and magnitude of Flexport’s innovations have only just started to be realized.”
Western DTC brand Tecovas names a new CEO
Tecovas founder Paul Hedrick and incoming CEO David Lafitte. (Courtesy photo)
Tecovas, a DTC brand specializing in western footwear, apparel, and accessories, announced a series of executive hires, including a new CEO.
David Lafitte, will become CEO of the Austin-based brand. He spent the last seven years as the COO of Deckers Brands, which is home to a $3 billion portfolio that includes UGG, HOKA, Teva, and Sanuk.
With this appointment, Tecovas Founder and CEO Paul Hedrick will transition into a role as full-time executive chairman, guiding the brand's strategic direction and long-term vision.
The following executives have also joined the company in 2022:
- Gillian Kennedy joined the brand as chief marketing officer, bringing experience from On Running and Tillamook Cheese.
- Paul Choi is the new chief product officer, following recent leadership positions at Orvis and Ralph Lauren.
- Nathan Cray, a former ALDO executive, was named Chief Supply Chain Officer.
- Kim Heidt assumed the newly created role of SVP of retail, having previously served as head of global retail at Deckers.
At Deckers Brands, Angela Ogbechie was promoted to the newly created role of chief supply chain officer following Lafitte's departure. Ogbechie has been with the company since 2008, most recently holding the role of SVP, global operations & supply chain strategy.
1440 Foods names Andrews as CEO
Azania Andrews. (Courtesy photo)
Azania Andrews is joining New York-based sports and nutrition company 1440 Foods as CEO.
1440 Foods was recently formed by New York-based investment platform 4X4 Capital to manage brands in the The Bountiful Company. These include Pure Protein bars and shakes, Body Fortress protein powder, MET-Rx meal replacements and nutrition brand Balance. Andrews will build a New York-based team and execute a strategy to grow the portfolio.
Andrews previously spent nine years at Anheuser Busch, most recently serving as VP of consumer connections following a stint leading business and commercial strategy for Michelob Ultra. Andrews previously held management and strategy roles at WPP, Young & Rubicam, Schematic, PepsiCo and the Robin Hood Foundation.
Mars, Inc. names Singh as president of pet nutrition
Ikdeep Singh. (Courtesy photo)
Mars, Incorporated announced the promotion of Ikdeep Singh as global president for its pet nutrition business, which includes brands such as Pedigree, Sheba and Whiskas.
Overseeing a team of 18,000 employees with products in 50 markets, Singh will be a member of the global leadership team at Mars Petcare. Singh previously served as the division’s regional president for North America, which is its largest market. He previously worked at the L'Oréal Group and Procter and Gamble.
Live Tinted names Stacy Panagakis as president
Stacy Panagakis. (Photo via Live Tinted)
LIve Tinted was founded by entrepreneur and prominent Youtuber Deepica Mutyala. It is building a multicultural community alongside beauty products that include a mineral SPF, serum stick, corrector and more.
Panagakis most recently served as CEO of makeup and hair color brand Lime Crime. She also served as VP of global education for Clinique, GM and VP of sales for Stila, and GM at Fresh.
Rothy's appoints former Charlotte Russe CEO to board
DTC shoe and bag brand Rothy's appointed Jenny Ming to its board of directors.
Ming previously served as president of Old Navy and CEO of Charlotte Russe. She also served on the boards of Levi Strauss & Co., Kendra Scott, Affirm, Poshmark, and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan & Hospitals.
"In all my decades in retail, I've never encountered a brand quite like Rothy's," said Ming in a statement. "As Rothy's stylish, sustainable products spur organic word of mouth growth, it can scale with a vertically-integrated model unlike anything else in the industry. I'm thrilled to help Rothy's expand its loyal community as the business enters its next chapter."
Rothy's, which makes shoes from recycled plastic bottles, received an investment of $200 million Alpargatas in late 2021, which expanded the board.
Columbia names Guillon as SVP of omni planning and fulfillment
Francois Guillon. (Courtesy photo)
Columbia Sportswear Company appointed Francois Guillon to the role of senior VP for omni planning and fulfillment.
Guillon brings previous experience with supply chain operations, having most recently held a variety of roles at Tiffany & Co.
“Francois will help us continue to evolve our systems and capabilities so that we can retain our competitive edge,” said Chief Supply Chain Officer Lisa Kulok, in a statement. “His global experience, coupled with his knowledge of digital systems will help us in this dynamic supply chain process.”
Quiksilver names Gascon VP of global marketing
Gascon previously spent 13 years at Vans, where he mostly recently served as senior director of global marketing for action sports.
This comes eight months after Brad Blankinship was appointed to the role of global general manager at Quiksilver, which is owned by parent company Boardriders, Inc.
Hoplark appoints Frost as chief commercial officer
Betsy Frost. (Courtesy photo)
Frost brings more than 15 years of CPG experience to the role. She was previously CMO and president of DRY Soda Company, where she led sales, marketing and ecommerce. Frost also worked in marketing at General Mills.
Boulder, Colorado-based Hoplark debuted its Hop Tea beverage in 2018, and recently launched a new zero-calorie craft brew line called Hoplark 0.0.
Zappos hires Cano as chief merchandising officer
Cano will put a focus on customer experience and product reviews at Amazon-owned Zappos. brings more than 20 years of experience in ecommerce and merchandising, most recently leading menswear and accessories at Walmart.com.
The hire comes after Scott Schaefer was named CEO of Zappos in April. The month prior, GM and chief merchant Jeff Espersen and senior director of merchandising Mike Normart departed the company.
Wayfair names Sahni VP of service operations
Sanjeev Singh Sahni. (Courtesy photo)
Home-focused ecommerce marketplace Wayfair promoted Sanjeev Singh Sahni to the role of VP of service operations. In the role, Sahni will oversee post order operations, including design, product, process and talent implementation.
Since joining in 2017, Sahni has led both customer experience and customer service capabilities. He initially focused on digital forwarding and logistics.
"As we increasingly leverage technology at scale, particularly the application of data science, we will continue to drive innovation and new breakthroughs across our world-class customer service experience. It is an honor to be leading the charge on this front,” said Sahni, in a statement.
American Outdoor Brands names Del Rio as chief people officer
American Outdoor Brands owns a portfolio of brands in outdoor products accessories, including Caldwell, LaserLyte, Grilla Grills and more.
Del Rio brings more than 24 years of experience from Ferro Corporation and Hannifin Corporation.
Trending in Careers
The job market continues to hum.
The labor market continued to show strength to start 2023, as the monthly jobs report posted big numbers.
Key data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly jobs report:
- Unemployment fell to 3.4%, ticking down from 3.5% in December to remain at historic lows.
- The economy added jobs to the tune of 517,000, which bested the 2022 average of 401,000.
- Average hourly wages rose by $0.10, marking year-over-year growth of 4.4%.
The Current’s view: The labor market continues to be an economic outlier. While there are signs of consumer pullback and belt-tightening among tech companies and retailers after months of high inflation, the job picture remains bright. While tech companies and some retailers are cutting back markedly, there are few signs of the widespread “pain” that economists predicted in this indicator of the economy.
What brands and retailers are thinking: Jobs are a major indicator of demand, and the labor market continues to hum along. That means the consumer pullback is tied to choices about discretionary spending and holding off on certain purchases in the face of high prices, moreso than being unable to afford items altogether.
What the Fed is thinking: Here’s more evidence that a soft landing might be possible. The Fed has been raising interest rates to bring down inflation. There is risk that this will slow down the economy, including employment. There was some slowing in job growth in December, but this report indicates labor market softening still hasn’t happened for a sustained period, even as inflation is cooling. After the central bank scaled back its latest interest rate hike to 0.25% on Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he sees a “path” to bringing down inflation without a significant rise in unemployment. Here’s one more piece of data to bolster that belief.
Keep in mind: The labor market is still out of balance between supply and demand. This report shows a big rise in jobs and the labor force participation rate remaining the same. Job openings actually increased in December, the Labor Department found. So there a still the case. Eventually, it will likely have to come into balance. But given the unpredictability of this economic era, it’s tough to know when, or even how.