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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, retail and CPG landscape.
This week, Target names a new top digital leader, evo names its first chief marketing officer and key executive leaders are being added at Jordan Brand, Under Armour and Qurate Retail Group.
Here’s the latest:
Target hires digital chief
Prat Vemana was named chief digital and product officer at Target, leading teams including site merchandising, user experience, digital operations and product, as well as online marketplace, Target+.
Vemana comes to the retailer from Kaiser Permanente, where he served as chief digital officer and senior vice president. He previously held top digital roles at The Home Depot and Staples.
In an interview on the company’s website following the announcement, Vemana was asked what his superpower is.
“I break silos and build relationships,” he said. “As someone who leads with optimism, I believe digital is a team sport — important ideas can come from anywhere in the organization. I like to think I use my superpower to bring different viewpoints together and guide the team to a solution that works for everyone.”
Evo names first chief marketing officer
Rebecca Heard. (Courtesy photo)
Outdoor brand evo promoted Rebecca Heard to chief marketing officer from the role of VP brand, marketing, and ecommerce.
In the new role, Heard will oversee brand, marketing, creative, and merchandising functions.
"Since joining evo three years ago, Rebecca has led the work of elevating our brand, refining our marketing and e-commerce strategies, and driving our focus on the consumer. I'm excited for Rebecca and the team, and proud to have a strong woman representing evo at the highest level," said Bryce Phillips, founder, and CEO of evo.
Heard assumes the new role at a time when it is evolving from a retailer to include other businesses, such as travel, retail, recreation and hospitality. It is planning to roll out a new loyalty program that connects all of the brand’s verticals.
A former VP at Lululemon, Heard joined evo in 2019.
Additionally, Katie Little is joining the brand as director of evo stores. Little previously worked at Lululemon, bringing experience in retail operations and front-line team building.
Under Armour adds 2 executive leaders
Under Armour is making the following additions to its executive team:
- David Baxter is being promoted to president of the Americas, succeeding Stephanie Pugliese, who is set to leave the company in early 2023.
- Mehri Shadman was promoted to chief legal officer and corporate secretary. Current chief legal officer John Stanton is retiring at the end of the year after 16 years with the company.
A new women’s leader at Jordan Brand
Tonia Jones was appointed to lead the women’s business at the Jordan Brand, Footwear News reported.
A 33-year veteran of Nike, Inc, which owns the Jordan Brand, Jones was most recently head of SNKRS and NBHD Marketplace, and previously worked at the Jordan Brand in regional leadership roles.
Nike executives shared on an earnings call in June that the Jordan Brand women’s business tripled between 2020 and 2022.
Qurate Retail Group names COO
Scott Barnhart was named chief operating officer at video commerce company Qurate Retail Group, which owns QVC and HSN. The wide-ranging role includes oversight of global supply chain and business functions, as well as US customer experience and fulfillment, among other areas. He will also play a key role in executing the company’s strategic growth plan, called Project Athens.
Barnhart most recently served as president of global medical products and supply chain at Cardinal Health. He previously served as an executive at Aramark, and held supply chain roles at Conagra Brands and Diageo.
Trending in Careers
Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.
When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.
That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The decline has been building over the entire year, as imports dipped in the winter. With the spring, volume started to rebound. In April, the major ports handled 1.78 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units. That was an increase of 9.6% from March. Still it was a decline of 21.3% year over year – reflecting the record cargo hauled in over the spike in consumer demand of 2021 and the inventory glut 2022.
In 2023, consumer spending is remaining resilient with in a strong job market, despite the collision of inflation and interest rates. The economy remains different from pre-pandemic days, but shipping volumes are beginning to once again resemble the time before COVID-19.
“Economists and shipping lines increasingly wonder why the decline in container import demand is so much at odds with continuous growth in consumer demand,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, in a statement. “Import container shipments have returned the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 and appear likely to stay there for a while.”
Retailers and logistics professionals alike are looking to the second half of the year for a potential upswing. Peak shipping season occurs in the summer, which is in preparation for peak shopping season over the holidays.
Yet disruption could occur on the West Coast if labor issues can’t be settled. This week, ports from Los Angeles to Seattle reported closures and slowdowns as ongoing union disputes boil over, CNBC reported. NRF called on the Biden administration to intervene.
“Cargo volume is lower than last year but retailers are entering the busiest shipping season of the year bringing in holiday merchandise. The last thing retailers and other shippers need is ongoing disruption at the ports,” aid NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If labor and management can’t reach agreement and operate smoothly and efficiently, retailers will have no choice but to continue to take their cargo to East Coast and Gulf Coast gateways. We continue to urge the administration to step in and help the parties reach an agreement and end the disruptions so operations can return to normal. We’ve had enough unavoidable supply chain issues the past two years. This is not the time for one that can be avoided.”