Industry Moves: Lululemon and Columbia Make Changes to Senior Leadership Teams + More

FN Staff
·13-min read

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 web@footwearnews.com.

Oct. 30, 2020: Lululemon is making a few changes to its leadership team: The athletic apparel and accessories chain announced that company veteran Celeste Burgoyne has become the first executive to serve at the president level in her role, leading the Americas and global guest innovation teams. It also tapped longtime Adidas exec André Maestrini to serve as EVP of its international business. Plus, to support its recently announced DE&I efforts, the brand has appointed Stacia Jones as VP and global head of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action (or IDEA). Burgoyne and Maestrini will report directly to CEO Calvin McDonald, while Jones will work with the IDEA Senior Leadership Team Steering Committee and report to SVP of people and culture Susan Gelinas.

Oct. 30, 2020: Columbia Sportswear has announced a series of senior leadership changes: EVP and COO Thomas Cusick is stepping down in February and plans to transition to a part-time role with the company as he prepares for retirement in the second half of the year. What’s more, SVP of global supply chain operations and manufacturing Lisa Kulok will become EVP and chief supply chain officer, while SVP and CFO Jim Swanson will take on the post of EVP (and retain his title as financial chief). Both Kulok and Swanson will report directly to president and CEO Tim Boyle. In addition, VP of apparel manufacturing Brent Beeson has been named SVP of manufacturing, reporting to Kulok.

Oct. 29, 2020: Saks Off Fifth, a subsidiary of Hudson’s Bay Co., announced today two key executive appointments. Molly Taylor has been named chief merchant and Kate Brems has been tapped for SVP of planning, both effective Nov. 16. Taylor, who joins Saks Off 5th from Century 21 where she served as chief merchandising officer, will oversee merchant organization and guide the company’s buying decisions. Prior to Century 21, she spent over 10 years at Nordstrom Inc. Brems, who will lead Saks Off 5th’s planning organization and guide its efforts to be customer centric in all aspects of its end-to-end merchandising processes, joins the retailer from PVH Corp., where she most recently served as SVP, head of merchandise planning, operations & digital sales. Brems began her career at Saks Fifth Avenue and held roles of increasing responsibility in buying and planning.

Oct. 28, 2020: Centric Brands has appointed Marc Schneider as chairman of its board of directors. Schneider, who has 35 years of experience in the retail and wholesale industries, was most recently CEO of Kenneth Cole Productions, where he was responsible for its retail, outlet, e-commerce, international, licensing and wholesale businesses. Prior to Kenneth Cole, he served as group president of the heritage brands at PVH Corp., as well as in senior executive and officer roles at Timberland, Macy’s and Melville Corporation/Bob’s Stores.

Oct. 28, 2020: Rue21 announced the appointment of Bill Brand as CEO. He takes the helm from interim CEO John Fleming, who will return as a board member. “We chose Bill because of his impressive track record in building high-performance teams and his industry-recognized leadership abilities to modernize retail brands,” said Fleming. “Under his leadership, we will leverage Rue 21’s recent growth by doubling down on omnichannel enhancements to create more compelling customer experiences.” Brand previously served as president of HSN and as chief retail officer of Carnival Corporation.

Oct. 27, 2020: Tapestry Inc. has named Joanne Crevoiserat as its new CEO, effective immediately. Crevoiserat has served as the company’s interim CEO since July 2020, following the resignation Jide Zeitlin, who stepped down that same month citing personal reasons. Crevoiserat served as EVP and COO Abercrombie & Fitch Co. from February 2017 to June 2019 and joined Tapestry in August 2019 as CFO. She is expected to be appointed as a member of Tapestry’s board of directors at the next scheduled board meeting.

Oct. 26, 2020: Kids’ footwear brand Oomphies has added Debbi Laubsch as sales director. Laubsch brings more than 41 years of experience in kids’ footwear to the brand, where she will oversee large retail accounts and work to expand Oomphies’ sales team.

Oct. 23, 2020: Roberto Cavalli SpA has announced the appointment of Fausto Puglisi as its creative consultant. All design functions across the brand are now under his responsibility, and he will debut his first collection with the house in January 2021. “I want to develop my ideas of ​​inclusion, beauty, and amplify the dialogue between cultures, diversity and multiplied aesthetics,” Puglisi said in a statement. “This is a unique opportunity to write a new chapter in Cavalli’s history, continuing to celebrate the legacy of Italian craftsmanship and excellence.”

Oct. 23, 2020: Stitch Fix has appointed Neal Mohan to its board of directors. The new addition currently serves as the chief product officer at YouTube, where he’s responsible for the video-sharing platform’s products, user experiences and trust and safety. He was formerly SVP of display and video ads at Google. “He brings tremendous digital product leadership and outstanding operational experience,” said founder and CEO Katrina Lake. “As we continue to revolutionize the consumer shopping experience and help our clients find what they love, Neal’s insight and expertise will be invaluable.” Mohan is the ninth member of Stitch Fix’s board, which is a majority female.

Oct. 22, 2020: Calvin Klein has tapped Linh Peters as its global chief marketing officer, effective Nov. 2. As part of her new role, she will oversee the brand’s consumer marketing division, as well as help develop its brand experience, product marketing and data-driven innovations in the department. Peters — who formerly served as VP of loyalty, partnerships and licensed stores product and marketing at Starbucks — succeeds Marie Gulin-Merle, who exited the company last year.

Oct. 21, 2020: Prada has named its first DE&I chief. The Italian luxury fashion house appointed Malika Savell as its chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for North America. She previously served as the director of cultural diversity, partnerships and engagement at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. She has a bachelor’s degree in media studies from New York’s Hunter College and obtained her certification in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University.

Oct. 20, 2020: Puma has appointed Maria Valdés to its GM of Sportstyle role, which the German athletic giant said is its largest business unit by revenue. Valdés is a company veteran, having worked for Puma for 10 years, most recently serving as its senior head of product line management for footwear for the sportstyle business unit. She will report directly to CEO Bjørn Gulden. Valdés is replacing Reinhard Dischner, the current GM of Sportstyle, who is leaving Puma at year’s end after more than 18 years with the company.

Oct. 20, 2020: Ralph Lauren Corp. has added Valerie Jarrett to its board of directors, now comprised of 13 members. Jarrett is a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation and media company ATTN, as well as the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir “Finding My Voice.” She was also the longest-serving senior advisor to the Obama administration, plus she served as co-chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team and senior advisor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. “Valerie’s breadth of experience across the public and private sectors and unparalleled expertise in government, law and leadership will bring new perspective as we continue to build the future for our iconic company,” said executive chairman and chief creative officer Ralph Lauren.

Oct. 16, 2020: Asics announced multiple executive moves today including the appointment of Richard Sullivan to the president and COO roles for its North Americas business. Sullivan, who joined the brand in 2016 as the president of Asics Canada, last served as the Asics North America EVP. Other changes to the Asics North America leadership include Barbara Turner assuming the chief administrative officer role and Sean Condon being named VP of omnichannel. These changes are effective Nov. 1. Also, the current CEO of Asics North America, Koichiro Kodama, will assume a new global role as Asics’ managing executive officer, which will be based in Kobe, Japan. And in January 2021, Naomichi Hatori will become the EVP of strategy for Asics North America.

Oct. 15, 2020: Caleres has tapped Amy Hunter as its VP of diversity, equity and inclusion, effective Oct. 21. As part of her new role, Hunter will help drive the company’s DE&I strategy, including its affirmative action plans, as well as guide efforts surrounding the recruitment of candidates from varied backgrounds. Prior to joining Caleres, Hunter led global D&I as well as corporate groups for Boeing Defense and Space. She also drove D&I strategies at BJC Healthcare’s St. Louis Children’s Hospital and served as the chief diversity officer for the YWCA Metro St. Louis.

Oct. 14, 2020: Macy’s has named a new finance chief. The department store announced the appointment of Adrian Mitchell to the post of CFO, effective Nov. 2. Reporting to chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette, he will be responsible for leading all finance functions at the company, including accounting, treasury, investor relations, internal audit, financial and capital planning and analysis, as well as procurement. Mitchell, who is a managing partner at Boston Consulting Group, will replace Felicia Williams, the retailer’s interim CFO. According to Macy’s, Williams, who joined the chain in 2004 and served as finance chief since June 1, will become a Macy’s Inc. fellow at the CEO Action for Racial Equity.

Oct. 14, 2020: VF Corp. has made big changes to its brand leadership team. In a statement, the apparel and footwear company announced that all the heads of its core and emerging brands now report directly to CEO Steve Rendle. Among them are Vans president Doug Palladini; interim president of Timberland and president of the EMEA region Martino Scabbia Guerrini; and Kevin Bailey, president of the Asia-Pacific region and emerging brands. This also includes Steve Murray, now president of The North Face. Murray — previously VF’s president of the Americas — replaces Arne Arens, who stepped down to pursue other roles outside of the retail group. (The role of president of the Americas has been eliminated.)

Oct. 13, 2020: Trade show organizer Informa has announced three key promotions. Kelly Helfman, who oversees the company’s WWDMagic, Project Women’s, Stitch, PoolTradeShow, Micam Americas and Sourcing @ Magic events, has been named commercial president of Informa Markets Fashion. As part of this expanded role, she will now have the additional responsibility for Coterie and the men’s division. Meanwhile, Jason Peskin has been promoted to VP of events and corporate development, where he will manage the commercial side of the men’s division. And Jordan Rudow has been elevated to VP of events, to handle the commercial side of Informa’s trend-focused and mass-market women’s fashion, as well as its footwear division.

Oct. 13, 2020: StockX has hired Leander LeSure as its first-ever global chief people officer, which he will assume effective immediately. LeSure, who has more than 20 years of HR leadership experience and is a U.S. Navy veteran, joins the “stock market of things” after stints with companies including Getty Images and Herman Miller. In his new role, LeSure will be tasked with the company’s human resources organization including training and leadership development, diversity and inclusion, total rewards and talent recruitment functions.

Oct. 9, 2020: Calvin Klein has tapped Jacob Jordan as its global chief merchant and product strategist. Since last May, he had been employed by the brand in a consulting capacity. As part of his new role, Jordan will oversee the company’s merchandising strategy, as well as work closely with the design team under chief product officer Suzanne Barton. He reports to CEO Cheryl Abel-Hodges.

Oct. 9, 2020: Gap Inc. has announced the appointment of Nancy Green as president and CEO of Old Navy. She has served as interim head of the brand since March and was previously its president and creative officer. As part of her new role, Green will report to Gap Inc. CEO Sonia Syngal and serve on the company’s senior leadership team. “Nancy is a visionary leader who brings deep customer empathy to her role every day,” Syngal said. “She has led the brand through one of the most challenging periods in its 26-year history, and the team has delivered strong results through compelling creative and product execution.” Prior to joining Old Navy last year in August, Green served as president and CEO of Athleta, also a Gap Inc. brand.

Oct. 9, 2020: Following its recent privatization, Li & Fung has appointed new leaders: Effective immediately, group president Joseph Phi has been named group CEO, while Spencer Fung is succeeding William Fung as executive chairman. Phi has two decades of experience at the company; he first joined Li & Fung in 1999 and was promoted to the role of group president last year. On the other hand, Spencer Fung — who will oversee all of the company’s businesses in his new post — became CEO in 2014, stepping in as the fourth generation of the Fung family.

Oct. 8, 2020: J.Jill has named a new CEO after dodging bankruptcy last month. The womenswear chain announced the appointment of Claire Spofford to the top post, effective no later than Feb. 15. She will also become a member of the company’s board of directors. Jim Scully will remain as interim executive chief to ensure a smooth transition of the role for the business and for Spofford, who is a veteran retail executive with more than two decades of experience. “As we enter this next phase, we are excited to welcome Claire back to the J.Jill organization,” board chairman Michael Rahamim said in a statement. Spofford most recently served as president of Cornerstone Brands. She also previously held the role of SVP and CMO at J.Jill.

Oct. 7, 2020: Adidas has appointed a new head of human resources after employee complaints over racism at the firm led Karen Parkin, former global head of HR, to exit in June. The Germany-based sportswear giant tapped Amanda Rajkumar to lead the HR department starting next year. The new exec joins the team from French bank BNP Paribas, where she most recently served as HR chief for its Americas division. She also previously worked for JPMorgan for nearly a decade in various senior HR management positions. She started her career in 1993 as a research psychologist.

Oct. 5, 2020: Puma has tapped stylist June Ambrose as its new creative director. In a post on Instagram, Ambrose — an award-winning costume designer who has styled the likes of Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey — announced the news with the caption, “The cat is out of the bag.” She has also created looks for Jay-Z, who serves as creative director of the brand’s basketball division, Puma Hoops. As part of her new role, Ambrose is tasked with working on the Puma’s women’s and girls’ collections. The first line is expected to release next summer.

Oct. 1, 2020: K-Swiss announced the appointment of Dave Grange today as its VP of sales for the Americas region. In this role, the company said he will be tasked with leading the U.S. wholesale business, specifically finding new opportunities and driving growth. Before K-Swiss, Grange held leadership roles with other industry leaders including a stint as SVP of footwear at Lacoste and the VP of North America for Keds and Pro-Keds.

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