New Starbucks CEO rises early; Orlando Bloom joins nutrition brand
On the Move has hiring and promotion updates from Patrick Ta Beauty, Divi, REI and Munchkin.
On the Move has hiring and promotion updates from Patrick Ta Beauty, Divi, REI and Munchkin.
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, Starbucks and Patrick Ta Beauty welcome new CEOs. Meanwhile, we’ve got news on key ecommerce and digital hires at Divi and Munchkin, and a former eBay executive taking a seat on the marketplace’s board.
Patrick Ta and Kimberly Villatoro. (Courtesy photo)
Kimberly Villatoro was appointed to the CEO role at Patrick Ta Beauty.
Villatoro brings experience as VP of Estée Lauder brands Smashbox and Glamglow in North America. She also led and marketed the Barbie brand at Mattel.
With the move, former CEO Avo Minasyan will transition to chairman of the board.
Founded in 2019 by renowned makeup artist Patrick Ta, the brand received a minority investment from growth equity firm Stride Consumer Partners in October 2022. The next month, it brought on former L'Oreal executive Paul Parikh as chief operating officer.
Laxman Narasimhan is now officially the CEO of Starbucks.
Narasimhan, the former CEO of CPG company Reckitt, was appointed in September as the successor to founder Howard Schultz, who returned in an interim role last year after several prior stints as CEO.
Narasimhan is rising to the top role several weeks earlier than expected. With the move, Narasimhan will lead the company’s annual shareholder meeting later this week.
Josh Burris was named CEO of apparel retailer rue21, effective April 3.
For the last two years, Burris served as the CEO of nutrition retailer GNC, where he led a restructuring after the company was purchased by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Harbin Pharmaceutical Group in 2020.
Burris also held leadership roles at Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, DKNY, Karl Lagerfeld Paris, Calvin Klein Performance, Wilsons Leather, and GH Bass & Co.
Actor Orlando Bloom announced a new role, and this one isn’t scripted. Bloom will serve as chief wellness officer of Form Nutrition, a protein and supplement brand that recently expanded into the US market.
The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean star will now be involved in the brand’s product development process, and advise on creative direction. Bloom is also investing in the brand.
Form Nutrition's products are available at Vitamin Shoppe, Amazon, Walmart.com and through its direct-to-consumer website.
Erica Randerson was named vice president of ecommerce at Divi, a scalp health and haircare brand.
Randerson comes to the role from Edible Arrangements, where she served as VP of ecommerce across the company’s websites and 900+ retail locations.
Randerson will apply this experience to leadership of Divi’s direct-to-consumer growth strategy.
“With her incredible background, Erica will be instrumental in helping us more deeply engage with the Divi community,” said entrepreneur and influencer Dani Austin, who is the founder of Divi, in a statement. “We look forward to working with her to amplify our story during a time when more and more individuals are focused on improving their scalp health as a part of their overall health and wellness.”
Alan Wizemann. (Courtesy photo)
Alan Wizemann was named chief digital officer of children's feeding and care products brand Munchkin.
Munchkin previously served as CTO of Quip NYC, chief digital officer of Dollar Shave Club, interim chief digital officer of Goop and VP of guest experiences and digital product at lululemon. He was also VP of Target.com.
The appointment to the executive role comes after Wizemann joined the company’s board of directors in early 2022, and played a key role in advising on digital growth.
REI Co-op announced the following leadership additions:
Apple Musni was hired as chief people officer. Musni brings experience from Chipotle, serving as VP of field people experience and recruiting. She also served in people operations roles at McDonald’s and Target.
Chris Speyer was promoted to SVP and chief merchandising officer. Speyer joined REI in 2017 as VP of Co-op Brands, which is the company’s private label.
Isabelle Portilla was promoted to VP of Co-op Brands. Previously, Portilla led product strategy and design for Co-op Brands.
The Home Depot promoted William "Billy" Bastek to the role of EVP of merchandising.
Bastek is a 33-year veteran of the company, and has held several key roles in merchandising, most recently as VP of hardlines, overseeing the hardware and garden departments. Bastek is credited with driving growth of Halloween and holiday categories across both online and in-store channels.
Bastek is succeeding Jeff Kinnaird, who has decided to leave the company.
Shripriya Mahesh is joining the board of directors at eBay.
Mahesh is currently general partner at early-stage venture capital firm Spero Ventures, and was a partner at Omidyar Network.
Mahesh is also a former executive at eBay, having served as VP and head of global product management and strategy, VP of US product marketing and platform and VP of corporate strategy.
Dealboard has funding and M&A updates from ecommerce aggregators and forecasting software.
This week, the aggregator space is active with M&A, IKEA is ready to roll out newly-purchased warehouse management software and Authentic Brands Group acquired a boot icon. Plus, there’s new investment to report for YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain’s coffee brand and retail forecasting.
Here’s a look at the latest deals:
Chamberlain Coffee, the consumer brand founded by YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain, raised $7 million in new funding.
The financing included backing from existing investors including Blazar Capital, Chamberlain and United Talent Agency. New investors include Volition Capital, Electric Feel Ventures, L.A. Libations and Noah Bremen, founder of PLTFRM.
The new funding follows the launch of a Ready-to-Drink (RTD) product and coffee pods. Previously, the brand raised a Series A in August 2022.
"Creating a uniquely inviting coffee brand has been my dream for so long now, and having key investors back us allows us to build Chamberlain Coffee in ways that feel fresh and exciting,” said Chamberlain, in a statement. “There are so many products I am eager to develop and projects I'm excited to get working on. With such an incredible team and group of investors I am more excited than ever to see what the future holds for Chamberlain Coffee."
Impact Analytics, a software company for retail supply chain and merchandise planning, raised new funding from Vistara Growth.
The new investment, the amount of which was not disclosed, comes after Impact raised funding in February 2021 and October 2022 from Argentum.
The funding will help Impact Analytics further develop its Impact Analytics SmartSuite product portfolio, which is designed to help optimize forecasting, merchandising and end-to-end lifecycle pricing. Rather than the traditional forecasting approach of basing decisions on the preceding year, Impact Analytics applies a model that includes 150 variables from internal and external sources, while combining recency and history. Clients include BJ's Wholesale Club, Dick's Sporting Goods, Puma and Tapestry.
Selva Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on consumer brands that promote healthier living, closed its second fund at $34 million, TechCrunch reported.
With the new funding, Selva will invest in brands across categories including health, wellness, beauty and personal care. The fund expects to write checks of $1-2 million in seed and Series A startups, while assisting in areas like finance, operations and retail partnerships.
Backers of the second fund include Unilever Ventures, PagsGroup and Obelysk.
Nautica and Forever 21 owner Authentic Brands Group acquired the intellectual property of Hunter, a 160-year-old British outdoor lifestyle brand known for its Wellington boots.
With the deal, ABG appointed longtime partners Batra Group and Marc Fisher to execute retail and ecommerce operations, as well as continue to expand the brand in the UK and U.S., respectively.
“At the intersection of fashion and outdoor, Hunter introduces another elevated global brand to Authentic’s diverse Lifestyle portfolio,” said Authentic CEO Jamie Salter, in a statement.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The investment arm of IKEA parent Ingka Group acquired the warehouse management software platform Made4Net.
As a result of the deal, Made4Net’s software will be deployed across IKEA’s 482 stores and fulfillment centers. Made4Net will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Ingka, with a headquarters in New Jersey. CEO Duff Davidson will remain at the helm of the company.
“Our business currently requires a better fulfillment operations system with more accurate data that better supports handling for our customers,” said Tolga Öncu, head of retail at Ingka Group, in a statement. “Our goal is to become leaders of life at home, serving more people in an omnichannel reality, whenever and however customers choose to meet us.”
European ecommerce aggregator SellerX acquired Elevate Brands, a U.S.-based aggregator.
The combined companies will be known as SellerX Group. It will comprise a portfolio that includes 80 Amazon-native private label consumer brands in categories including sports and outdoors, home, mobile accessories, pets and consumables. The portfolio will span over 40,000 products.
With the deal, SellerX Co-CEOs Philipp Triebel and Malte Horeyseck will lead SellerX Group, while Elevate Brands cofounders Ryan Gnesin, Jeremy Bell and Robert Bell will remain in key leadership positions.
“This acquisition combines our know-how and diversified portfolios of strong brands with a market-leading technology platform and strong operational infrastructure,” said Triebel, in a statement. “By leveraging our combined strengths, I am convinced we are well-positioned to drive further consolidation in the industry.”
Ecommerce aggregator Society Brands acquired Wolf Tactical, a tactical gear company.
Founded in 2017 by Tim Wu, Wolf Tactical makes products including DC belts, range belts to weighted vest and tactical backpacks.
"I started Wolf Tactical by myself as a side hustle with very limited knowledge of business and entrepreneurship. A combination of hard work and relentless learning allowed me to build it into a multi-million-dollar business," said Wu who will remain as brand president, in a statement. "With the help of Society Brands, I have access to untapped potential that I would not be able to achieve by myself.”