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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, Unliever’s CEO plans to retire, Eddie Bauer gets a new CEO and Kohl’s retains its CEO despite a shareholder’s call for replacement. Plus, YETI’s CFO and Peloton’s head of marketing are set to depart, while GSK is set to gain a CFO from Burberry.
Alan Jopeannounced plans to retire as CEO of consumer goods company Unilever at the end of 2023. Jope has been with the maker of Dove soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for more than 35 years, and served as CEO for the last five years. The company’s board will now conduct a search for its next CEO, considering both external and internal candidates. The move comes after activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management built a stake in the company, and Peltz joined the Unilever board.
Michelle Gass faced pressure to step down from the CEO role of Kohl’s, but is remaining in the job after receiving backing from the company’s board. Ancora Holdings Group, which owns approximately 2.5% of the company’s outstanding shares, said the department store chain “needs new leadership with demonstrated experience in cost containment, margin expansion, product catalog optimization and, most importantly, turnarounds.” However, Kohl’s board said it “unanimously supports Michelle Gass and her leadership team,” Retail Dive reported.
Tim Bantle was appointed to the role of CEO at Eddie Bauer, parent company Sparc Group announced. Bantle will succeed Damien Huang, who stepped down from the outdoor retailer to take the top job at Cotopaxi. Bantle previously served as general manager of VF Canada, leading the company’s local outdoor and action sports platform. In the past, Bantle held leadership positions at he North Face, Black Diamond Equipment and Patagonia.
Julie Brown will join biopharmaceutical company GSK as chief financial officer, the company announced. Brown will depart Burberry, where she currently serves as chief financial and operating officer. Prior to Burberry, Brown served as CFO medtech companies AstraZeneca and Smith & Nephew, and was a board member at Roche. This transition comes as Iain Mackay is set to step down as CFO of GSK in May 2023.
Paul Carboneannounced his resignation from the chief financial officer role at YETI, effective Oct. 28. An announcement from the outdoor products company said Carbone will be returning to Boston to pursue a business opportunity that will allow him to be closer to family. Carbone joined YETI in 2018, and helped guide the brand through its IPO. A search for a new CFO is underway.
Dara Treseder is leaving the role of SVP of marketing, communications and membership at connected fitness company Peloton to become the chief marketing officer of the software company Autodesk. At Peloton, the departure comes two weeks after cofounder and former CEO John Foley announced he would be leaving the company. Former Netflix and Spotify executive Barry McCarthy became the company’s CEO in February amid struggles with inventory and slumping post-lockdown demand. The company will now seek a new marketing chief. Treseder had previously worked with Apple, Goldman Sachs and General Electric. She begins at Autodesk on Oct. 14.
The Coca-Cola Company announced a series of executive changes this month:
- Evguenia “Jeny” Stoichkova was named president of global ventures, which focuses on scaling acquisitions and brands including Monster Beverage Corp. and Costa Coffee. She currently serves as president of Eurasia and Middle East, and previously served as president of the company’s Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia business unit.
- Sedef Salingan Sahin will succeed Stoichkova as president of Eurasia and Middle East. Sahin currently serves as president of the nutrition, juice, dairy and plant category.
- Barry Simpson will step down as chief platform services officer of the company on Sept. 30 after 14 years with Coca-Cola. Simpson led the platform services organization since it was created in 2021. Going forward, the organization will be restructured under two leaders: Neeraj Tolmare will serve as chief information officer lead digital and technology services, while a leader for the other units will be named later.
Adrian Poretti. (Courtesy photo)
Adrian Poretti is joiningHostess Brands as chief supply chain officer to oversee all operations and supply chain at the sweet snacks company. He succeeds Gary Schmidt, who served in the role on an interim basis since January, and will continue to lead the company’s operations and engineering teams. Poretti joins Hostess after nearly 30 years at Kimberly-Clark, where he most recently served as vice president for global supply chain capabilities.
Bernie Adcock will be departing the role of chief supply chain officer at Beyond Meat on Sept. 30, according to an SEC filing. As a result, the chief supply chain officer role will be eliminated. Going forward, the duties of the role will be performed by Jonathan Nelson, who is currently Beyond Meat's SVP of manufacturing operations. Nelson joined the company in May 2021 after serving as CEO of consulting firm JP Nelson Consulting and in various roles at plant-based food company SunOpta, Inc.
Sara Blandwas hired by PVH Corp. as VP and chief strategy officer on Oct. 31. Bland is joining the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger owner from Kontoor Brands, Inc. where she was EVP of global strategy. She previously served in senior roles at GlaxoSmithKline and PepsiCo.
The North Face made two executive hires, Footwear News reported. Sophie Bambuck was hired as chief marketing officer, while Jennifer Ingraffea is chief product and merchandising officer. Both executives bring previous experience at Nike.
Callie Canfieldwas hired by Hanna Andersson as chief brand officer, leading the brand and content strategy. Canfield brings experience to the children’s apparel brand from Anthropologie Group, Gap Inc. and David's Bridal.
Callie Canfield. (Courtesy photo)James Reath is joining Destination XL Group, Inc. as chief marketing officer. Reath joins the men’s big and tall apparel retailer after serving in the role of SVP of marketing at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Macy’s. He succeeds Ujjwal Dhoot, who will be leaving the company on Oct. 11. “Jim’s appointment underscores our ongoing transformation and commitment to building out the organization’s continued focus on customer engagement through data-driven personalization, loyalty and digital marketing,” said DXL CEO Harvey Kanter, in a statement.
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.