Industry Moves: Merrell Has a New Global Brand President + More

Sept. 12, 2019: Wolverine World Wide Inc. has announced the appointment of Chris Hufnagel as Merrell‘s new global brand president. The exec, who is a 10-year veteran of Wolverine World Wide Inc., most recently served as global brand president of Cat Footwear. He has also held multiple positions at Wolverine as well as launched the company’s consumer insights and market intelligence function. He will continue to report to Todd Spaletto, president of the Wolverine Michigan Group, and replaces Sue Rechner, who is departing the company.

Merrell Sue Rechner

Merrell president Sue Rechner is exiting the company.
CREDIT: Joshua Scott

Sept. 12, 2019: Kenneth Cole Productions has promoted Roberto Zamarra to the newly created position of group president of footwear, overseeing the men’s and women’s footwear divisions. A footwear industry veteran, Zamarra began his career in 1992 at Nordstrom and worked at the department store chain for six years and later spent time at InterShoe. He joined Kenneth Cole as a territory manager in 2001 and then moved to The Jones Group, where he became the President of Boutique Brands. Zamarra returned to Kenneth Cole Productions in March of 2013, as the president of women’s footwear.

Roberto Zamarra, kenneth cole productions, president footwear

Roberto Zamarra, group president of footwear, Kenneth Cole Productions.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Kenneth Cole

Sept. 12, 2019: Nicola Brandolese has been named Yoox Net-a-Porter‘s managing director as the Milan-based company fortifies its senior management team. Succeeding Matthew Woolsey, Brandolese is tasked with driving YNAP’s global expansion and will report to luxury division president Alison Loehnis. He most recently served as CEO of Giuseppe Zanotti and previously worked at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Among YNAP’s other hires were Thierry Pichon, who takes on the newly created role of VP of global sales and customer experience; Alessia Crivelli as brand and communications director; Pete Marsden, joining as chief technology officer; and Paolo Inga as the group’s global human resources director.

Yoox Net-a-Porter managing director Nicola Brandolese.

Yoox Net-a-Porter managing director Nicola Brandolese.
CREDIT: Yoox Net-a-Porter

Sept. 11, 2019: StockX now has its first chief marketing officer. The company announced today that Deena Bahri would assume the role, effective immediately. She will be tasked with overseeing the marketing, content and design teams, as well as driving StockX’s overarching consumer-facing strategy. Prior to joining StockX, Bahri spent two years with the same title at personal genomics company Helix. Other experience includes time with Birchbox, Gilt Groupe, The Ladders and Reebok.

Deena Bahri StockX

StockX chief marketing officer Deena Bahri.

Sept. 11, 2019: Lacoste has made two key executive appointments: Catherine Spindler has been hired as EVP of marketing and branding, while Jean-Louis Delamarre is now EVP of markets and distribution. Based in Paris, both execs report to CEO Thierry Guibert. Spindler has previously worked at LVMH as well as served as VP and member of the executive committee of the Dr. Pierre Ricaud brand and CMO of Vente-Privee. Delamarre, on the other hand, launched his career at Procter & Gamble, joining Lacoste in 2014 as CEO of the Asia-Pacific region. Since 2017, he held the role of CEO of Global Travel Retail.

Sept. 11, 2019: Nuala O’Connor has been appointed SVP and chief counsel of digital citizenship at Walmart Inc. With more than two decades of technology policy and legal leadership experience, O’Connor is tasked with advising the company on issues related to privacy, use of data, emerging technologies, cybersecurity and records management. (Her previous roles were as president and CEO at the Center for Democracy and Technology and VP of compliance and customer trust and associate general counsel for privacy and data protection at Amazon.) She reports directly to Rachel Brand, EVP of global governance, chief legal officer and corporate secretary.

Walmart SVP and chief counsel of digital citizenship Nuala O'Connor

Walmart SVP and chief counsel of digital citizenship Nuala O’Connor.
CREDIT: Walmart

Sept. 11, 2019: J. C. Penney Company Inc. has named Colin Dougherty SVP of finance, reporting to CFO Bill Wafford. The new exec, who brings 18 years of retail finance experience to the team, will be responsible for finance strategy and operations as well as financial planning and analysis. He joins JCPenney from New York-based consulting firm Storch Advisors and previously served as SVP of financial planning and analysis at Hudson’s Bay Co.

Sept. 10, 2019: Richemont‘s fashion and accessories chief Eric Vallat is stepping down after just over a year in the role, effective Oct. 26. The firm’s fashion and accessories businesses, including Chloé, Dunhill and Maison Alaïa, will now report to Jérôme Lambert, group chief executive officer.

Sept. 9, 2019: Under Armour SVP of corporate communications Kelley McCormick has left the brand to pursue other opportunities, the company said today. She will continue to be an advisor to the brand for a few months during a transition period. McCormick in 2017 was named to the newly-created role of SVP of corporate communications at the Baltimore-based athletic label — after spending time at SKD Knickerbocker as a managing director.

Sept. 9, 2019: Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma is stepping down from his role, coinciding with his 55th birthday on Tuesday. The famed exec, who founded the Chinese retail and e-commerce juggernaut in 1999, made the announcement to retire last year. He will remain on the company’s board of directors until 2020, with CEO Daniel Zhang taking over the reins.

Jack Ma, Executive chairman and co-founder of Alibaba Group arrives at the Tech for Good summit, in Paris, France, 15 May 2019. Tech for Good summit is held at Elysee palace with several world leaders and tech bosses as part of the 'Christchurch Call' meeting which aims at ways to tackle and eliminate terrorism and violent extremist content online.'Christchurch call' meeting in Paris, France - 15 May 2019

Alibaba chairman and co-founder Jack Ma.
CREDIT: Christophe Petit Tesson/Shutterstock

Sept. 9, 2019: Kohl’s has announced the upcoming exit of president Sona Chawla, who is leaving the retailer in mid-October to pursue new opportunities. Along with the news, Paul Gaffney has been appointed senior EVP and chief technology officer, reporting directly to CEO Michelle Gass. He takes on the new role in mid-September, with previous experience as tech chief at Dick’s Sporting Goods and SVP of information technology at The Home Depot.

Sept. 9, 2019: Adam Orvos has reportedly exited from his role as CFO of Neiman Marcus Group Inc. after less than 18 months on the job. According to Retail Dive, the exec’s departure marks “a natural progression in his career.” He will stay on with the company until mid-October and help the team during the transition period.

Sept. 6, 2019: Maison Alaïa has tapped Myriam Serrano as its new CEO. Serrano joins the fashion house from another Richemont-owned brand, Chloé. She replaces Alison Sachs, who remains at the Richemont group, undertaking other responsibilities. Sachs continues to report directly to Eric Vallat, head of Richemont’s fashion and accessories maisons. Serrano, who also reports to Vallat, joined Richemont in 2006 as director of accessories collections for Chloé. She was later promoted to Chloé’s director of communication and accessories. Before joining Richemont, Serrano worked at Celine and Nina Ricci.

Sept. 6, 2019: Footwear charity Soles4Souls has added three new members to its board of directors for the start of its fiscal year. Steven Barr, consumer markets leader at PwC; Michele Love, chief commercial officer at Designer Brands; and Lisa Collier, president and CEO of NYDJ are the latest additions to the nonprofit organization’s board.

Sept. 5, 2019: Stephanie Pugliese is joining Under Armour Inc.‘s leadership team starting Sept. 16, serving as president of its North America division. The new exec, who will report directly to president and COO Patrik Frisk, previously served as president and CEO of Duluth Trading Company. She replaces former North America president Jason LaRose, who left the brand at the end of April.


Former Duluth Trading Company head Stephanie Spugliese is joining Under Armour.
CREDIT: Courtesy

Sept. 4, 2019: Two senior leaders have been promoted at Fila North America. Danny Lieberman, who has been associated with the brand for two decades, is now EVP of apparel. Meanwhile, Gary Wakley has been elevated to EVP of footwear after joining the company in 2007. Both execs will continue to report to Fila North America president Jennifer Estabrook.

Sept. 4, 2019: Rick Helfenbein is stepping down from his role as president and CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, effective Dec. 31. He has been a member of the trade group for a decade and worked with the organization for nearly 15 years, including two years as chairman of the board of directors and four years at his current post. EVP Stephen Lamar, who has more than 21 years of experience at the AAFA, will take the helm at the start of 2020.

AAFA president and CEO Rick Helfenbein speaks at the 2019 AAFA Executive Summit.

AAFA president and CEO Rick Helfenbein.

Sept. 4, 2019: Tapestry Inc. has announced the departure of CEO Victor Luis. Effective immediately, chairman of the board Jide Zeitlin, who has served for more than a decade on the company’s board, is taking on the top role. He has held the chairman post since November 2014 and has more than 30 years of global financial and operational experience. Board member Susan Kropf has also been named lead independent director.

Tapestry CEO Victor Luis

Tapestry CEO Victor Luis.
CREDIT: Patrick Miller

Sept. 4, 2019: Two key executives at Topshop parent Arcadia Group Ltd. have exited. After five months as interim chairman, Jamie Drummond Smith stepped down last week. COO David Shepherd, a 25-year veteran at the fashion empire, also bowed out the same day. The news comes as Arcadia moves forward with its restructuring plan as it seeks to reduce costs by cutting underperforming stores.

Sept. 3, 2019: Neiman Marcus Group Inc. has a new chief merchant. Lana Todorovich, who has served as president of North American wholesaling at Ralph Lauren, is now the retailer’s president and chief merchandising officer. She succeeds Jim Gold, who left in March, and will report directly to CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck.

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