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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
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.