On the Move has the latest leadership-level hires and transitions in retail and ecommerce.
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’s CEO is staying put, while Whole Foods and Starbucks are making way for new leaders. Plus, Gopuff brings on an Amazon veteran, kate spade new york is forming a design leadership partnership, and reorganizing at Lowe’s prompted the departure of its top marketing executive.
Check out the latest leadership updates:
Brian Cornell will remain as CEO of Target for the next three years, the retailer announced on Wednesday. With these plans in place, Cornell will stay with Target past the traditional retirement age of 65, and Target’s board of directors has eliminated its retirement policy as a result, which was designed to “initiate a conversation” about retirement with a CEO at that age. “We enthusiastically support [Cornell's] commitment and his continued leadership, especially considering his track record and the company’s strong financial performance during his tenure,” said Monica Lozano, lead independent director of Target’s Board of Directors.
Arthur Valdez will retire from Target as EVP and chief supply chain and logistics officer. Valdez joined Target in 2016. In the ensuing years, it has pursued a strategy that centered stores as it grew in both physical and digital retail. Valdez will be succeeded by Gretchen McCarthy, Target’s SVP of global inventory management. An 18-year veteran of Target, McCarthy has held multiple leadership roles at the company.
Laxman Narasimhan will be the next CEO of the Starbucks. He will transition to the top role at the Seattle-based coffee chain over the next six months as founder Howard Schultz hands off the reins following a stint as interim CEO on April 1, 2023. Narasimhan previously served as CEO of Reckitt, the multinational consumer goods company that owns brands like Lysol, Clearasil and Woolite. He also held various leadership roles at PepsiCo. Starbucks has been undergoing a transition in 2022 as Schultz returned to the CEO role and initiated a shakeup among the top ranks that was designed to last into the next CEO's tenure.
Laxman Narasimhan. (Photo via Reckitt)
Matt O’Toole will be elevated from CEO of Reebok to executive vice chairman of Authentic Brands Group, which became the sportswear maker’s parent company through acquisition in March 2022. Beginning in January 2023, O’Toole will work with ABG’s leadership team on brand acquisitions, strategic initiatives and supporting the expansion of Reebok. With this move, Todd Krinsky will be promoted to CEO of Reebok. A 38-year veteran of Reebok, Krinsky previously served as VP of Reebok Design Group and led the brand’s Classics business, WWD reported.
Jason Buechel officially stepped into the CEO role of Whole Foods on September 1. He succeeded cofounder John Mackey in the leadership position of the Amazon-owned grocer upon retirement. A nine-year veteran of the company, Buechel previously served as chief operating officer. Whole Foods currently has 534 stores with 50 more stores in the pipeline, and a growing omnichannel operation thanks in part to Amazon’s head-turning acquisition in 2017.
Hannah Gibson is being promoted to the role of CEO at Ocado Retail, effective September 20. Ocado Retail oversees an online supermarket in the UK. Gibson previously served as chief product officer at Ocado Technology, which provides access to Ocado’s platform for Ocado Retail as well as other businesses. She also served as head of Ocado Zoom, a grocery delivery service that launched prior to Ocado Retail.
Soumya Sriraman. (Courtesy photo)
Qurate Retail Group, the video commerce company that owns QVC, HSN and Zulily, announced a pair of leadership hires on Wednesday:
Marisa Thalberg left the role of EVP and chief brand and marketing officer at home improvement retailer Lowe’s. According to CNBC, the company is undergoing a wider reorganization. It moved marketing under EVP of merchandising Bill Boltz, and eliminated Thalberg’s role in the process. In turn, the company’s online team was moved from merchandising to technology. Thalberg joined Lowe’s in 2020, bringing experience from Taco Bell, Estee Lauder, Unilever Cosmetics International and Revlon.
Patrick Bigatel joined quick commerce service Gopuff as VP of grocery, according to reports and a LinkedIn post. Bigatel previously spent 15 years at Amazon, serving as general manager in categories including heavy-bulky, pet products and outdoor sporting goods. Bigatel wrote that Gopuff was a leading retail disruptor on par with others he has seen, noting, “The focus on customer-first innovations and technologies, underpinned by a unique vertically integrated supply chain, has benefits extending throughout the company down to the experience our customers receive with every order.”
Tom Mora and Jennifer Lyu are joining kate spade new york as principal designers. Both are serving in the role of SVP and head of product design across particular categories. Mora will lead design in categories including ready-to-wear, footwear, jewelry, home and licensed lifestyle, while Lyu will lead design in handbags and accessories. Mora previously served as creative director of women’s and licensed product at Cole Haan, while Lyu led design of handbags and small leather goods at Tory Burch.
Pam Quintiliano. (Courtesy photo)Pam Quintiliano was appointed head of investor relations at Macy’s. She will succeed Mike McGuire, who is retiring from that role. Quintiliano previously served as group VP of investor relations at Abercrombie & Fitch, and spent more than 20 years as an equity research analyst, focusing on retail and manufacturing.
The SnackFutures CoLab program is seeking "disruptively delicious" brands for its spring 2023 cohort.
The maker of Oreo, Ritz and Trident will offer support to emerging snack brands through a four-month program in 2023.
Mondelēz International recently opened applications for CoLab, a startup engagement program that provides funding, education and mentorship to startup brands. The company said it created the program to bring “big and small” together in the interest of promoting growth for all.
SnackFutures, which is the innovation and venture hub of Chicago-based Mondelēz, is set to hold the third cohort of the CoLab program in spring 2023. Applications are open through December 2022.
This year’s theme for the CoLab program is “disruptively delicious.”
“The team is looking for brands that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in making a snack delicious – from flavors, to experience, to sustainability to packaging - as well as grabbing the attention of retailers and getting consumers coming back for more,” Mondelēz writes.
The program shows how CPG companies are applying the accelerator model popularized by software startups to create points of convergence with up-and-coming brands that often start by selling and marketing through digital channels.
Emerging brands that are selected receive a $20,000 grant. The 12-week program offers in-person workshops, hands-on experiences, virtual curriculum sessions and 1-on-1 mentorship. Participants also get access to Mondelēz International experts and partners. Mondelēz oversees a portfolio of brands including Oreo, Ritz, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Trident.
“To be launching a third class of CoLab demonstrates Mondelēz International’s commitment to thinking and behaving as a consumer-centric, future forward leader in snacking,” said Brigette Wolf, VP and Global Head of SnackFutures, in a statement. “The startups that participate in this program tell us they are blown away by the access and attention they get from our experts and ecosystem; and our leaders and employees are inspired by the drive and discipline of these entrepreneurs.”
Startups must be based in the U.S., generating at least $1 million in revenue and have “high growth potential,” the company said. The startups must also align with the Mondelēz International innovation priorities and be in position to benefit from working with the company.Find an application at the SnackFutures website.