Industry Moves: Kenneth Cole Elevates Samantha Cohen to Chief Marketing and Social Impact Officer + More News

Who’s in, who’s out, who’s been promoted and hired — FN covers all the industry changes in one place. Know of an executive on the move? Tell us at web@footwearnews.com.

March 21, 2024: Kenneth Cole Productions has promoted Samantha Cohen to chief marketing and social impact officer. Cohen’s extensive experience overseeing communications, social impact, influencer marketing, collaborations, social strategy, and paid media positions her perfectly to spearhead the brand’s mission forward, the company said in a statement. “Sam’s leadership and dedication have been instrumental at Kenneth Cole for over 20-plus years,” the company said. “She is someone who embodies the spirit of a brand that has stood for social impact as much as fashion for 40 years. She has already led the team at Kenneth Cole through countless milestone projects including product category launches, book tours, fashion shows, major social impact campaigns and the launch of the Mental Health Coalition, to name just a few. We are truly inspired by her vision to foster brand growth and make a positive impact on the world.”

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Kenneth Cole, Samantha Cohen, executive
Samantha Cohen. Courtesy of Kenneth Cole Productions

March 19, 2024: Academy Sports and Outdoors has appointed Google executive Monique Picou to its board of directors, effective immediately. With this change, Academy’s board now comprises ten directors. Picou has over 30 years of supply chain, logistics, strategic planning, operations digital/technology, and engineering experience. She currently serves as global executive vice president of Google Cloud supply chain and operations at Alphabet, Inc. Prior to Alphabet, Picou served in leadership positions at Walmart, Inc., Voyant Beauty, LLC and Procter & Gamble Company. “We are pleased to have Monique join our board,” Ken Hicks, Executive chairman of Academy, said in a statement. “Monique brings extensive experience in supply chain, logistics, and strategic planning at large technology, retail and manufacturing companies. Her expertise will be a great asset as we leverage and scale our supply chain to enable industry-leading growth.”

March 18, 2024: Fleet Feet has announced a series of new hires, expanded roles and promotions. Stuart Williams, who previously served as vice president and chief information officer of grocery chain The Fresh Market, joined the retailer as its vice president of IT, a newly created role. Also, Melissa Gabriele, whose prior experience includes Gap Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters, was named director of apparel and accessories, another newly created role. Aside from the new hires, Fleet Feet expanded the role of John Moloznik, vice president of business development, to include franchise operations. Lastly, Tiffany Lee, formerly the director of marketing and media, was promoted to senior director of performance marketing and partnerships, and Sarah Holden was promoted to director of human resources, an expansion of her prior role of senior manager of human resources.

Fleet Feet, Stuart Williams, Melissa Gabriele
Fleet Feet vice president of information technology Stuart Williams (L) and director of apparel and accessories Melissa Gabriele.Courtesy of Fleet Feet

March 15, 2024: Industry veteran Clyde Edwards, who is approaching 8 years at Puma, has transitioned into a new role, the brand confirmed with FN. Edwards is now its director of marketing — brand energy and partnerships, a newly created role. His career started at Puma as its senior manager of marketing for city specialty in September 2016.

Clyde Edwards, Puma
Clyde Edwards, director of marketing — brand energy and partnerships at Puma. Courtesy of Clyde Edwards

March 13, 2024: Foot Locker Inc. has announced Cindy Carlisle has its next executive vice president and chief human resources officer. According to Foot Locker, Carlisle will be tasked with developing and executing its global human resources strategy in support of the its Lace Up Plan, which is “a transformation designed to drive the organization’s next phase of growth and create value for all stakeholders.” Prior to Foot Locker, Carlisle served as the group vice president of human resources at Stryker Corporation. She has also held leadership positions at Roche Group and Johnson & Johnson.

March 8, 2024: Giovanna Ceolini was confirmed as president of Assocalzaturifici, the national association representing Italian shoemakers, until June 2027 on Thursday. According to Ceolini, she will be focused on sustainability, digitalization, innovation, made in Italy, and tertiary as drivers for the development of the sector, with a focus on training to make footwear an attractive sector for young people. Other objectives include the enhancement of third-party companies, better known as CDMOs (contract development and manufacturing organizations). Support will also be given to trade fair policies starting with MICAM Milan. “We have a challenging job ahead of us,” Ceolini said. “We have to respond to a conjuncture that is not easy, in a geopolitical framework dominated by uncertainty, with initiatives and projects that support our companies in international markets. Today, more than ever, it is important to put the interests of the industry, and therefore our association, back at the center. We can do this by returning to frank and constructive dialogue and confrontation. In this I will not be alone but supported by a team composed of professionals of undoubted value.”

Giovanna Ceolini, Assocalzaturifici, Micam
Giovanna Ceolini will serve as president of Assocalzaturifici until June 2027. Courtesy of Assocalzaturifici

March 5, 2024: UK-based footwear retailer Schuh has tapped Stephanie Legg as chief marketing officer and Justin Lodge as chief digital officer with immediate effect. According to the Genesco-owned retailer, these new additions to the leadership team will be “pivotal” in Schuh’s ambition to be an “unrivalled destination” for socially conscious students, Gen-Z and the next Generation Alpha. After spending ten years at Arcadia leading the digital marketing and brand marketing teams, Legg has more recently sat on the leadership teams at innovative digital platforms Laybuy, Threads Styling and Collagerie. In her role, she will lead the marketing, partnerships and PR departments at Schuh. Lodge’s previous roles include chief marketing officer at Superdry, where he was responsible for the strategy and execution of digital channels, and international director at Boohoo.com, where he expanded the Boohoo Group brand into international markets. Lodge’s remit at Schuh includes digital marketing, CRM, digital trading and UX. Both Legg and Lodge join the existing five members of the Schuh leadership team, including Schuh president Colin Temple.

Justin Lodge, Stephanie Legg, Schuh, Genesco
Justin Lodge and Stephanie Legg. Courtesy of Schuh

Feb. 8, 2024: Luxury resale marketplace RealReal has tapped Ajay Gopal as its chief financial officer, effective March 18. Gopal most recently served as the CFO of Outside Interactive and has also served in the top financial role at Good Eggs, Helix and StubHub. The RealReal has also named board member Karen Katz, the former chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus Group, as its new chairperson of its board of directors, effective Feb. 20. “I’m thrilled to welcome Ajay to The RealReal,” said John Koryl, CEO of The RealReal in a statement. “Not only does Ajay have robust experience in high-growth and transformative businesses, but his diverse background and experience across eCommerce and two-sided marketplaces is invaluable as The RealReal continues its drive toward profitability.”

Karen Katz, Intermix
Karen KatzCourtesy of Intermix

Feb. 8, 2024: Manolo Blahnik has named Jodie Blake as chief marketing officer, effective immediately. In her new role, Blake will be responsible for delivering and executing the global communications strategy for the brand under the direction of Manolo Blahnik himself and CEO, Kristina Blahnik. Blake joined Manolo Blahnik in 2019 as head of marketing and communications. During this time, she was responsible for overseeing the London head office communications department comprising of content, marketing and events, and press and VIP divisions. She worked closely with former CMO, Carla Filmer, on the planning and execution of brand strategy and on creative activations in global territories excluding North America and Canada. Prior to her time at Manolo Blahnik, Blake held the position of head of marketing and communications at Self-Portrait, the contemporary womenswear brand based in London. Her previous roles included senior account director at the luxury communications agency, The Communications Store, where she led the UK and global PR strategies for brands including Erdem, Emilia Wickstead, Max Mara, Oscar de la Renta, Pinterest, and The Conran Shop.

Jodie Blake, Manolo Blahnik, executive
Jodie BlakeCourtesy of Manolo Blahnik

Feb. 8, 2024: Puma has named Julie Legrand as its senior director of global brand strategy. The 20-year brand management and marketing veteran most recently served as H&M’s global brand director. The appointment comes as Puma looks to shift its global marketing function from Boston to its headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. “With Julie, we have found an experienced leader to head up PUMA’s global brand strategy,” said Puma’s vice president of brand and marketing Richard Teyssier. “She will define and execute our strategy to drive higher brand visibility and strengthen the PUMA brand and its perception around the world.”

Julie Legrand Puma
Julie LegrandPuma

Feb. 7, 2024: Italian outdoor footwear brand Olang has named Davide Calcagnotto as its new general manager. In his new role, Calcagnotto will support the founder, Armando Sartor, with the aim of outlining a strategic development plan for the next few years. Calcagnotto joins Olang from fellow outdoor shoe brand Garmont International, where he served as chief operating officer since 2021. “I accepted this new challenge with enthusiasm, convinced by Olang’s potential,” Calcagnotto said in a statement. “The product is a leader in the winter season, but I am sure there will be important growth opportunities in terms of new markets, range and distribution channels. I thank the Sartor family for their trust, and I look forward to working with the team to achieve ambitious goals.” Sartor added: “Despite the passion and creativity being the same as always, my age required decisions, bringing Davide into the company to facilitate the generational transition was the natural plan. The family will remain involved at the forefront of management with my daughters Micaela and Francesca and my brother Ferruccio, but we have chosen to forward the company towards the future by entrusting new leadership. Continuity, evolution and expansion will be the cornerstones of the project.”

Davide Calcagnotto, Olang, footwear, executive
Davide CalcagnottoCourtesy Photo

Feb. 2, 2024: Under Armour has named Kevin Ross as its new senior vice president, managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa. He joins from Yeti, where he served as managing director of international since 2021. Before that, he spent nine years at Under Armour in various roles, culminating as vice president of global product creation. “We are thrilled to welcome Kevin back to Under Armour. His experience leading growth strategy and business operations in the region gives me great confidence that he will continue to harness the momentum that we’ve been able to establish in EMEA,” said Stephanie Linnartz, chief executive officer and president of Under Armour.

Under Armour Kevin Ross
Kevin RossUnder Armour

Jan. 26, 2024: Two Ten Footwear Foundation has named a new board chair and vice chair. President and CEO of New Balance Joe Preston succeeds president and CEO of Birkenstock USA David Kahan as board chair. President of Aldo product services Jonathan Frankel has become board vice chair. Two Ten also welcomed six new board members in the back half of 2023. They are: Zappos.com senior director of merchandising Kathy Forstadt, Skechers VP of sales Christina Gigante, SVP and GMM of Finish Line at Macy’s Ronnie Jefferson, EVP and GMM of Nordstrom shoes and kids apparel Tacey Powers, chairman and CEO of Steve Madden Ed Rosenfeld and Jennet Chow, founder and Co-CEO of Evolution Design Lab and Jellypop Shoes.

New Balance president and CEO Joe Preston
New Balance president and CEO Joe Preston.Courtesy of New Balance

Jan. 23, 2024: Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) has named Seth Stern as the company’s SVP of sales. In this role, Stern will be responsible for overseeing the APL wholesale channel globally. Stern brings over 20 years of sales executive experience in the footwear industry with major brands such as Vans, Toms and several other footwear companies. In this new role at APL, he will help develop the wholesale channel both in the USA and internationally as part of the overall APL global strategy utilizing direct-to-consumer, company-owned retail flagship stores and wholesale distribution to drive growth. “We are thrilled to welcome Seth to the APL team and look forward to our curated expansion within the wholesale channel, in addition to our exceptional direct-to-consumer online and retail flagship store business,” Adam and Ryan Goldston, co-founders and co-CEOs of APL, said in a joint statement.

Seth Stern, APL, sales, shoe sales
Seth SternCourtesy of APL

Jan. 18, 2024: Michael Fiddelke, Target’s CFO since 2019, has been announced as the company’s new chief operating officer, effective Feb. 4. He will continue to serve as CFO until a successor is named. Target also announced that its chief legal and compliance officer Don Liu will be retiring. The company said it will share details regarding its search for a replacement later this year. Once a successor is named, Liu will serve as a strategic advisor with Target through 2025.

Jan. 17, 2024: Perry Ellis International has tapped Michael Miille as its new creative director. In this role, Miille will spearhead the design and creative vision for Perry Ellis and Original Penguin by Munsingwear brands. Prior to joining Perry Ellis International, Miille held key positions at PVH and Ralph Lauren to name a few, where he successfully led creative teams. “Michael’s passion for design and his ability to capture the essence of modern style align perfectly with the values and vision of Perry Ellis International,” Oscar Feldenkreis, president and CEO of Perry Ellis International, said in a statement. “We are confident that his unique perspective will elevate both brands and resonate with a diverse audience.”

Jan. 16, 2024: Academy Sports and Outdoors has named Chad Fox to a newly created role of executive vice president and chief customer officer. In this role, Fox will oversee omnichannel, marketing, customer insights, and customer care. Fox will report directly to Steve Lawrence, CEO of the company. Before joining Academy, Fox served as SVP and chief marketing officer at Dollar General, where he led the brand strategy, marketing, media and digital teams and was responsible for strengthening the voice of the customer, generating increased traffic, improving customer engagement, and leading the in-house retail media network. Prior to Dollar General, Fox was VP of retail marketing with Walmart, where he guided marketing and media activities across all merchandising categories, seasonal events, and digital products and services. Fox also held leadership roles at Tyson Foods and The Richards Group.

Jan. 11, 2024: The Columbia Sportswear Co. board of directors has appointed Charles Denson to serve as a director and member of its audit committee. Denson is the president and CEO of advisory and consulting firm Anini Vista Advisors, and he held various positions at Nike Inc. from 1979-2014, including president of the Nike brand from 2001 to 2014. Currently, Denson is the chairman of the board of directors of Funko Inc., a role he has held since 2017, and serves as director of FAH LLC.

Jan. 4, 2023: After 13 years away from the brand, Gabriel Rodriguez has returned to Brooks. Rodriguez, who previously worked for Brooks from 2007-2010 as a field marketing representative, has been named its new VP of apparel and accessories. In the role, Rodriguez will be tasked with leading apparel and accessories design, development, product management and merchandising for Brooks’ global business. Rodriguez has spent the last 13 years at Under Armour, holding several leadership positions, most recently serving as the director of apparel for run.

Brooks, Gabriel Rodriguez
Brooks VP of apparel and accessories Gabriel Rodriguez.Courtesy of Brooks

Jan. 4, 2024: Luís Onofre has been re-elected president of APICCAPS (Portuguese Footwear, Components, Leather Goods Manufacturers’ Association) for a new three-year term. The businessman heads a single list, made up of a team of 26 businessmen, who will be in charge – for the next three years – of the national business association, based in Porto and founded in 1975, that represents the entire footwear sector in Portugal (footwear industry, footwear components industry, leather goods industry and trade of equipment for the industries). Joaquim Moreira will chair the general meeting and Domingos Ferreira the supervisory board. In the next term, “we will have a strengthened team of businessmen leading APICCAPS,” emphasized Onofre. “Together, we will try to implement what we have proposed in the strategic plan, with a focus on actions related to the internationalization of our companies. At a time when global economies are still experiencing very modest economic growth, our ability to reach new markets and customers and move into higher value-added segments will be critical.”

Luís Onofre, APICCAPS
Luís Onofre Courtesy of APICCAPS

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