Labor

These were the biggest retail executive moves in February

Kohl’s got a new CEO, while Louis Vuitton welcomed a new creative director
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Kohl’s

· 3 min read

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There’s been a lot of talk this month about the trouble with the retail CEO pipeline, and the many companies in a chief leadership flux. And as one major retailer finally named a permanent CEO this month, a few more announced departures. Here are February’s most notable executive shifts:

  • Kohl’s announced interim CEO Tom Kingsbury as its permanent CEO. Kingsbury has led the retailer since former CEO Michelle Gass departed in December to serve as president at Levi’s. The retailer also added a new chief merchandising and digital officer, Nick Jones, formerly CEO of UK-based Joules Group.
  • Eraldo Poletto, global CEO of Diesel, departed after seven months in the role, citing personal reasons.
  • Newell Brands CEO and board member Ravi Saligram will step down from both positions on May 16, with Chris Peterson, president of the Sharpie and Yankee Candle-owner, set to take over the chief role.
  • Musician and producer Pharrell Williams joined Louis Vuitton as men’s creative director, succeeding the late Virgil Abloh. His first collection is set to debut at Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June.
  • The executive team at Williams-Sonoma saw a number of moves. Pottery Barn president Marta Benson was named CEO of Pottery Barn Brands, while also retaining her current role. Michelle Hummel, who has been with the company for 24 years, was promoted to lead its global business.
  • John Bagan, president of Southern California grocery chain Gelson’s, was tapped to also serve as its CEO, replacing Rob McDougall, who is retiring after 15 years with the grocer.
  • Cartier’s president and North America CEO, Mercedes Abramo, will become deputy chief commercial officer of its international business on March 1. Walter Bolognino, former Bulgari Japan president and CEO, will take over her former position.
  • Nike chief digital information officer Ratnakar Lavu exited the company, though the company did not provide a reason for his resignation.
  • Bill Bennett, Kroger’s former VP of e-commerce, joined specialty food company Innovative Food Holdings as CEO.

Cheesed off: Plant-based dairy brand Miyoko’s Creamery announced that founder and CEO Miyoko Schinner exited the company on February 16. The same day, the brand filed a lawsuit that indicated the board voted to oust Schinner in June 2022; the lawsuit, filed in a California federal court, alleged Schinner “hatched a plot to steal the company’s property, trade secrets, and confidential information so that she could create a competing company.” Schinner wrote on LinkedIn that she was “shocked” by the lawsuit, saying it included “wild untruths.”

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