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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.
To kick off 2023, there are new top leaders at Under Armour, Back to Nature, Sun-Maid and Good Karma Foods. Meanwhile, the CEO of Victoria’s Secret is stepping down. Plus, CPG giants Nestlé and Colgate Palmolive made key promotions in the ecommerce and digital executive ranks.
Here are the latest moves:
Stephanie Linnartz was named CEO of Under Armour, effective February 27. She joins the performance apparel brand from Marriott International, where she led digital transformation, sports partnerships and the growth of the Bonvoy loyalty program over a 25-year career. Under Armour conducted a search following the departure of previous CEO Patrik Frisk in June.
“[Linnartz] is a proven growth leader with a distinguished track record of brand strategy, omnichannel execution, talent acquisition and development, and passion for driving best-in-class consumer connectivity, experience, and brand loyalty,” said Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, in a statement.
Amy Hauk is stepping down as CEO of the Victoria’s Secret brand. According to an SEC filing, Hauk notified the lingerie company last week that she will be resigning on March 31. Martin Waters, who is the CEO of Victoria’s Secret & Co., will assume the brand CEO responsibilities at that time. Hauk stepped into the CEO role in July, and was also previously the CEO of VS&Co.’s Pink brand. The news came on the same day as Victoria’s Secret completed the $400 million acquisition of DTC brand Adore Me, which was initially announced in November.
Jennifer Jorgensen. (Photo via Linkedin)
Jennifer Jorgensen was named CEO of Back to Nature. She joins the health food store staple from General Mills, where she most recently served as VP and general manager of cereal. This hire follows the acquisition of Back to Nature by Barilla from B&G Foods.
“Jennifer is a champion for diversity and inclusion which will be critical in building our future team. Her leadership in this acquisition is part of our long-term ambition to build a strong multi-brand bakery platform in the United States, where we are already market leader in the crispbread category with Wasa,” Barilla wrote in a LinkedIn post announcing the move.
Steve Loftus joined Sun-Maid of California as president and chief operating officer. The newly-created role will oversee all functional areas of the business. Previously, Loftus held leadership roles at TreeHouse Foods and Kraft Heinz. He succeeds Braden Bender, who was serving in an interim president role since September and is now returning to the CFO role.
Mike Murray will take the reins as CEO of Good Karma Foods. He brings 25 years of CPG experience to the plant-based milk and dairy alternative brand. Most recently, Murray was CEO of Teton Waters Ranch. Before that, he held executive roles at free2b Foods, So Delicious Dairy Free, WhiteWave Foods Company and LARABAR. Along with the hire, Good Karma said it is poised to close on a new round of financing in the near future. It will be led by Valor Siren, Loft Growth Partners and existing investors.
Veeral Shah was named chief ecommerce and digital officer at Nestlé USA. Previously VP of commercial strategy and development, Shah also brings experience from Campbell Soup Company, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, and Accenture. Here’s how he detailed the role in a LinkedIn post:
I have always aspired to have a voice on a C-suite level executive leadership team and to achieve this at the world's largest CPG company is truly humbling.
Since joining Nestlé 4 years ago, I have been blown away by the culture, leadership, and people I get to work with everyday. With this newly created position, Nestlé once again confirms its commitment to stay ahead of the curve in the eCommerce & digital space.
David Foster was promoted to chief information officer at Colgate Palmolive, according to a LinkedIn post. He succeeds Mike Crowe, who retired at the end of 2022, Consumer Goods Technology reported. A 25+ year veteran of the company, Foster will lead IT, strategy and digital transformation at the consumer goods company.
Rebecca Scheidler was promoted to SVP and general manager of consumer foods at the J.M. Smucker Co. She will oversee the $1.7 billion snacks and spreads business, which includes Jif and Smucker's. Scheidler will succeed Tina Floyd, who is stepping down on Jan. 13 to become CEO of Hudsonville Ice Cream. Before joining Smucker in 2019, Scheidler held leadership roles at Bristol Myers Squibb and Kao Corporation.
Zahir Ibrahim joined digitally native dog product company BARK as chief financial officer. Ibrahim brings financial leadership experience from Do Good Foods, Kind, Annie’s and Molson Coors. At Kind and Annie’s, he was involved in mergers and acquisitions. “I am incredibly excited to join BARK as it continues to expand into compelling new areas like food and consumables while remaining true to its mission of making all dogs happy,” he said.
Hermann, Thota and Mangini. (Courtesy photo)
Cotopaxi, the outdoors brand, named three new executives:
- Charlie Mangini joined as VP of operations. He has a 30-year career in logistics and fulfillment with JCPenney, Kohls and Marmaxx.
- Kamal Thota joined as VP of technology, bringing experience from publicly traded LifeVantage.
- Jason Hermann is the VP of corporate sales, having previously spent 20 years at Columbia Sportswear Company.
Trending in Careers
The cuts amount to 4% of the ecommerce platform's workforce.
eBay is set to become the latest ecommerce platform to conduct layoffs.
The company announced plans on Tuesday to lay off 500 employees, which amounts to about 4% of its workforce. Layoffs were set to take place over the next 24 hours, the company said Tuesday evening.
In an SEC filing, CEO Jamie Iannone said the decision to make layoffs came after consideration of the macroeconomic environment and where the company could best invest for the long-term.
Iannone said the moves “are designed to strengthen our ability to deliver better end-to-end experiences for our customers and to support more innovation and scale across our platform.”
“Importantly, this shift gives us additional space to invest and create new roles in high-potential areas — new technologies, customer innovations and key markets — and to continue to adapt and flex with the changing macro, ecommerce and technology landscape,” Iannone wrote. “We’re also simplifying our structure to make decisions more effectively and with more speed.”
eBay is one of the oldest ecommerce platforms, and remains an active marketplace for both new and resale items. The San Francisco-based company has yet to report results for the fourth quarter of 2022. In the third quarter, the company said gross merchandise volume was down 11%, and revenue was down 5% year-over-year.
Yet the company has also continued to invest. In 2022, it acquired collectibles platform TCGPlayer and myFitment, which provides parts and accessories for automotive and powersports. It also opened a secure vault for trading cards, and launched livestreaming.
eBay is also seeing a boost from advertising, with revenue driven by promoted listings up 19% in the third quarter.
With the layoffs, eBay joins other tech companies that provide the infrastructure of ecommerce in making layoffs. Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce, BigCommerce and Wayfair have all recently announced layoffs. Technology giants like Meta, Google and Microsoft have also made job cuts.
It comes as inflation is weighing on consumers’ discretionary spending, and the return to more in-person shopping throughout 2022 led to a correction following aggressive hiring during the pandemic.