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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 brings comings and goings in the C-suites of Shopify, Wish, Amazon and Peloton. Plus, top retail and CPG executives are taking leading roles at Lands’ End, Hudson’s Bay and Goli Nutrition.
Here’s a look at the latest leadership moves:
Shopify, the ecommerce software company, made a pair of executive moves in a C-suite shakeup:
- Kaz Nejatian was promoted to chief operating officer. While remaining in his current role of VP of product, Nejatian will also be succeeding Toby Shannan, who is retiring.
- Jeff Hoffmeister was hired as chief financial officer. Hoffmeister joins from Morgan Stanley, where he worked in the technology investment banking group for more than two decades. He is set to succeed Amy Shapero, who is stepping down on October 27.
Vijay Talwar departed the CEO role at ecommerce marketplace Wish after seven months on the job. Joe Yan, operating partner at GGV Capital, is taking the role of interim CEO. Talwar was appointed in February, and sought to undertake a turnaround effort at the marketplace, which the New York Times reported had shed users and stock value as past leaders put too much emphasis on short-term growth. In June, Talwar launched a vlog series to provide a window into progress at the company. No reason for Talwar’s departure was given.
John Foley and Hisao Kushi, cofounders of Peloton , resigned their respective roles with the connected fitness company. Foley, who previously served as CEO before stepping down in February to make way for current top executive Barry McCarthy, is exiting the position of executive chairman. He will be replaced by Karen Boone, a former top executive at Restoration Hardware. Kushi will leave the chief legal officer role. He will be succeeded by Tammy Albarrán, who previously served as chief legal officer and corporate secretary at Uber. Peloton has been in the midst of a turnaround effort after a dip in late-pandemic demand and inventory issues put the company in tough financial straits.
Andrew McLean will become the next CEO of Lands’ End in January 2023. He will succeed Jerome Griffith, who is retiring at the end of the retailer’s fiscal year after five years with the company. McLean previously served as president of the international division at American Eagle Outfitters, where he is credited with driving ecommerce growth and expanding distribution partnerships with Amazon, QVC and Target.
Bruce Weiss. (Courtesy photo)
Bruce Weiss was appointed to the CEO role at Goli Nutrition , a wellness company that makes apple cider vinegar and vitamins, among other products. He joins a team that also recently brought on Stratis Philippis as chief legal officer, and Elizabeth Carter as chief financial officer. Weiss previously served as VP at Church & Dwight, where he lead the health and well-being division. He previously worked at Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola.
Sophia Hwang-Judiesch was appointed to the role of president at Hudson’s Bay , succeeding Wayne Drummond, who is retiring on September 19. The move comes after owners at HBC separated its in-person stores and ecommerce as standalone businesses of the apparel retailer last year. Hwang-Judiesch previously served as VP of strategic initiatives at Ulta Beauty, where she led the retailer’s Beauty@Target activation, and managed 13 workstreams. She previously held leadership roles at Carter's Oshkosh and Esprit de Corp.
Diana Frost was promoted to chief growth officer of North America at The Kraft Heinz Company . Previously, Frost served as head of North America disruption and Canada chief marketing officer for the food company. She played a key role in a joint venture with NotCo, which used AI to create plant-based versions of Kraft Heinz foods. Frost will oversee the Kraft Heinz in-house agency, and the company’s digital, personalization and paid media teams.
Diana Frost. (Courtesy photo)
Heather MacDougall is stepping down as VP of global workplace health and safety at Amazon , CNBC reported . The October 7 departure will come three years after she joined Amazon in 2019 from the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. During that time, the company continued to operate its fulfillment network during a pandemic, and its workplace practices faced increased scrutiny. Becky Gansert, who is currently VP of global specialty fulfillment, will move into the lead role of workplace health and safety.
Walgreens Boots Alliance , the pharmacy retailer, announced a pair of leadership appointments centered on technology and innovation:
- Inderpal Bhandari, the global chief data officer of IBM, is joining the company’s board of directors.
- Hsiao Wang will join the company this month as CIO. Wang previously served as CIO at Michaels and CTO at Sam’s Club.
Lisa Marie Pillette joined Fossil Group as SVP and chief marketing officer. Pillette joins the accessories brand from DTC mattress brand Casper, where she served as chief marketing officer. She brings previous experience from Lacoste, Ralph Lauren and Levi Strauss.
Elizabeth Krause. (Courtesy photo)
MeUndies, a direct-to-consumer intimates brand, announced the following leadership appointments:
- Elizabeth Krause is the brand’s new chief marketing officer. Bringing over two decades of marketing experience at brands such as Speedo, Volcom, and Oakley, Krause is set to lead teams including growth, retention, creative and brand.
- Sabah Mikha joined the company as chief financial officer, bringing experience from TechStyle Fashion Group and McKinsey & Company.
Anirban Bardalaye was appointed chief product officer at Bloomreach, a commerce experience cloud company. Bardalaye previously served as VP of product management for commerce cloud at Salesforce, and brings 15 years of experience leading product strategy at SaaS companies.
Trending in Careers
Campbell Soup Company CEO Mark Clouse offered thoughts on messaging amid inflationary shifts in consumer behavior.
After months of elevated inflation and interest rate hikes that have the potential to cool demand, consumers are showing more signs of shifting behavior.
It’s showing up in retail sales data, but there’s also evidence in the observations of the brands responsible for grocery store staples.
The latest example came this week from Campbell Soup Company. CEO Mark Clouse told analysts that the consumer continues to be “resilient” despite continued price increases on food, but found that “consumers are beginning to feel that pressure” as time goes on.
This shows up in the categories they are buying. Overall, Clouse said Campbell sees a shift toward shelf-stable items, and away from more expensive prepared foods.
There is also change in when they make purchases. People are buying more at the beginning of the month. That’s because they are stretching paychecks as long as possible.
These shifts change how the company is communicating with consumers.
Clouse said the changes in behavior are an opportunity to “focus on value within our messaging without necessarily having to chase pricing all the way down.”
“No question that it's important that we protect affordability and that we make that relevant in the categories that we're in," Clouse said. "But I also think there's a lot of ways to frame value in different ways, right?”
A meal cooked with condensed soup may be cheaper than picking up a frozen item or ordering out. Consumers just need a reminder. Even within Campbell’s own portfolio, the company can elevate brands that have more value now, even if they may not always get the limelight.
The open question is whether the shift in behavior will begin to show up in the results of the companies that have raised prices. Campbell’s overall net sales grew 5% for the quarter ended April 30, while gross profit margins held steady around 30%. But the category-level results were more uneven. U.S. soup sales declined 11%, though the company said that was owed to comparisons with the quarter when supply chains reopened a year ago and expressed confidence that the category is seeing a longer-term resurgence as more people cook at home following the pandemic. Snacks, which includes Goldfish and Pepperidge Farm, were up 12% And while net sales increased overall, the amount of products people are buying is declining. Volumes were down 7%.
These are trends happening across the grocery store. Campbell is continuing to compete. It is leading with iconic brands, and a host of different ways to consume them. It is following that up with innovation that makes the products stand out. Then, it is driving home messaging that shows consumers how to fit the products into their lives, and even their tightening spending plans.
Campbell Soup is more than 150 years old, and has seen plenty of difficult economic environments. It is also a different business today, and will continue to evolve. At the end of the day, continued execution is what’s required.
“If it's good food, people are going to buy it, especially if it's a great value,” Clouse said.