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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, The Current is covering the latest news about leadership appointments at Utz Brands, Kimberly-Clark, Spanx and Atoms. Plus, Burberry brings on a new chief creative officer, and Kroger forms a new team to focus on innovation.
Utz Brands announced a CEO succession plan. Current CEO Dylan Lissette will become executive chairman of the board at the snack brand on Dec. 15. Howard Friedman, who is currently COO at Post Holdings, will join the company as CEO at that time. Lissette joined the company in 1995, and has been CEO since 2013. The company said a CEO transition was contemplated at the time of its merger with Collier Creek Holdings, and called it a “natural next step as Utz continues to develop as a public company.”
Andrea Zahumensky is set to take the helm of the North American personal care portfolio at Kimberly-Clark. As president, she will oversee brands including Huggies, Depend and Kotex. Zahumensky is joining the company after 20 years with Procter and Gamble. She also previously served as chief marketing officer at Yum! Brands for KFC.
Andrea Zahumensky. (Courtesy photo)
Sidra Qasim stepped into the CEO role at the footwear brand Atoms, Fortune reported. Qasim is a cofounder of the brand. Qasim had been running the brand alongside cofounder Waqas Ali. They wrote in a note that it felt like the “right time” to make a change. In the last three years, the founders wrote that they have "moved Atoms to NYC, lived through the pandemic, grew the company 300% year on year, launched several key products that are now used by hundreds of thousands of customers, and built a thriving global community,” they wrote.
Womenswear brand Spanxmade a series of executive appointments, including naming a new CEO. Here are the moves:
- Kim Jones was promoted to CEO. A 15-year veteran of the brand, she previously served as president and CFO. Jones worked with founder and executive chairwoman Sara Blakely as the brand sold a majority stake in Spanx to funds run by the investment firm Blackstone. The deal valued the company at $1.2 billion.
- Caroline (Cricket) Whitton was promoted to president, and will continue in her current role as chief growth officer.
- Misha Nonoo will join Spanx as chief brand officer. She previously served as CEO of the womenswear line that bore her name.
- Martin Elliott is joining the company as chief financial officer. Bringing more than 25 years of experience, he joined the brand from MGA Entertainment.
- Coco Lu was appointed as chief people officer, joining from The Coca-Cola Company. Over a 15-year career, she also previously worked at Philips Electronics and Unilever.
Spanx CEO KIm Jones. (Courtesy photo)
Daniel Lee joinedBurberry as chief creative officer this week, succeeding Riccardo Tisci. Previously, Lee served as creative director at Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta. He also served as director of ready-to-wear at Celine, and worked at Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan. Lee will present his debut runway collection at London Fashion Week in February 2023, the London-based fashion brand said.
Ryan Tabone. (Courtesy photo)
Ryan Tabone is the new chief product and technology officer at Lightspeed Commerce. Tabone joins the commerce platform used by retailers and restaurateurs after 15 years at Google, where he was a member of the original team that built Chromebook and most recently VP and GM of Google Pay and Google Finance. He was also an executive in residence with companies at Alphabet VC firm Other Bets, including Wing, Intrinsic and more.
Meal kit company Blue Apronannounced a transition in the CFO role. Randy Greben resigned, having accepted a position with another company. With this, Mitchell Cohen, who the company said is an experienced CFO, will step in as interim CFO. Going forward, the company will conduct a search for a permanent replacement.
Carolyn Everson is joining the board of directors at the Walt Disney Company, effective Nov. 21. A longtime tech executive, Everson most recently served as president of Instacart, and was previously VP of the global business group at Facebook for Meta. She also held top roles at Microsoft and Viacom. Everson also serves on the boards of The Coca-Cola Company, Creative Artists Agency. With this move, Disney said it reached a support agreement with shareholder and hedge fund Third Point LLC, which had been pushing for new board members, among other measures, the Hollywood Reporter reported.
Kareem Daniel. (Courtesy photo)
Kareem Daniel, an executive at Disney, will join the board of McDonald’s Corporation, effective Oct. 1. Daniel is the chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, which oversees streaming channels including Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, and Star+, as well as TV stations such as ABC, ESPN, and FX, and film distribution. He has also held leadership roles in consumer products, games and publishing. The McDonald’s board now has 15 members.
Nathalie Berger Duquene was appointed SVP and global general manager of Balmain Beauty by the Estee Lauder Companies. This follows the announcement that French luxury house Balmain will be launching a line of beauty products in 2024. Duquene has been with the company since June 2019, and has held executive positions at Tom Ford Beauty. She previously worked at Armani Beauty, Lancôme, Helena Rubinstein, Biotherm and Guerlain.
Supergoop made a pair of appointments to expand its executive team, HAPPI reported. Britany LeBlanc, SVP of marketing, was promoted to chief marketing officer. Ryan Crowley will serve in a dual role as chief financial and operating officer. Crowley previously served in CFO roles at Intermix and Marc Jacobs.
Ezio Garciamendez was appointed SVP and chief supply chain officer of Kontoor Brands, the owner of apparel brands including Wrangler and Lee. Garciamendez is joining on Nov. 1 from online wellness shopping club Melaleuca, where he served as SVP of global operations. He previously held various roles at Procter and Gamble.
Ezio Garciamendez. (Courtesy photo)
The Kellogg Companymade a series of appointments as it prepares to spin out its North American cereal brand into a standalone company. The following team members are all current members of the Kellogg Company team, and will round out leadership of the new company, which is one of three that will be created with the separation:
- Norma Barnes-Euresti to serve as Chief Legal Officer
- Mike Christensen to serve as Chief Human Resources Officer
- Stacy Flathau to serve as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
- Sarah Ludmer to serve as Chief Wellbeing and ESG Officer
- Bill Rex to serve as Chief Information Officer
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.