Executives on the move — Under Armour brings in firepower, and SeaWorld continues to struggle post-’Blackfish’
As we head into holiday shopping season (yes, it’s already that time of year), the retail sector is experiencing some seismic leadership shifts.
We’ve been tracking a few of the most notable executive changes heading into Q4, along with all the other decision-makers on the move this past month. Here’s what you need to know:
Under Armour’s bringing in firepower
Stephanie Pugliese is joining Under Armour as president of North America at a time when the company’s not doing so hot in the region. According to its latest earnings report, the company is expecting North American sales to decline in 2019, and its share of the activewear market in the U.S. has already shrunk to 5.6%, from 6.4% through June of this year. Compare that to competitor Lululemon, which has seen revenues climb 22 percent year over year. Under Armour has long focused on performance over style, but experts say that could be a losing strategy as rival brands capitalize on the athleisure trend. Pugliese is entering the fray with a wealth of retail experience behind her, at brands such as Ann Taylor and Land’s End. She joined Duluth Trading Company in 2008 and was tasked with overseeing the introduction of a women’s apparel line. Her work resulted in double-digit growth. So despite its struggles, Under Armour could be in very good hands moving forward.
Athleta gets a makeover
There’s a lot going on the wake of Gap Inc.’s news earlier this year that it is orchestrating some big changes among its family of brands. Gap is spinning off Old Navy into a separate business and keeping the rest of its portfolio under one umbrella. That has sparked a few key leadership changes: Nancy Green, the former CEO of Athleta Inc., has moved over to serve as president and chief creative officer of the new, independent Old Navy. And Mary Laughton is taking her place at Athleta. Laughton comes to the job from Sephora, where she served as executive vice president for omni retail. And she’s got big shoes to fill: Green was highly successful at Athleta, doubling revenue during her tenure, and in a presentation to investors earlier this month, Gap identified Athleta as the company’s growth vehicle as Old Navy heads off on its own. As of September, Athleta’s revenues were on track to hit $1 billion this year.
Other retail moves of note
Express Inc. welcomed a new EVP and chief marketing officer. Sara Tervo joins the clothing retailer after serving in the same role at Justice and as EVP of marketing for Victoria’s Secret. Paul Gaffney is now senior EVP and CTO at Kohl’s Corporation, after serving as CTO at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Thomas Kingsbury has moved into the role of executive chairman at Burlington Stores Inc., and Michael O’Sullivan has stepped in as CEO. O’Sullivan spent the past decade as president and chief operating officer at Ross Stores.
And then there was SeaWorld
Less than a year into the top job at SeaWorld, Gustavo "Gus" Antorcha has stepped down as CEO, and Marc Swanson has been named interim chief executive officer. The news comes as SeaWorld continues to suffer in the wake of the damning documentary “Blackfish.” This month, TripAdvisor announced it would stop selling tickets to SeaWorld under a new policy that prevents the company from selling tickets to any facility that breeds or buys whales and dolphins. That said, revenue and attendance have both been on the rise, so it may not be all bad news for the interim CEO.
More executives on the move…
- Mick Beekhuizen is now SVP and CFO, Campbell Soup Company.
- Karim Bitar is now CEO, ConvaTec Inc.
- Anne Chow is now CEO, AT&T Business Division, AT&T Inc.
- Barry Davis is now Chairman and CEO, Enlink Midstream LLC.
- Jennifer Erickson is now EVP, Global Communications, Mastercard Incorporated.
- Aditi Gokhale is now President and Chief Commercial Officer, Investment Products and Services, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.
- Christopher Gorman is now President and COO, KeyCorp.
- Gavin Hattersley is now President and CEO, Molson Coors Brewing Company.
- Hartmut Liebel is now CEO, Sanmina Corporation.
- Michael Linton is now Chief Revenue Officer, Ancestry.
- Timothy McLevish is now CFO of Carrier Corporation, United Technologies Corporation.
- Dirk Montgomery is now SVP, CFO and Treasurer, Fiesta Restaurant Group.
- Timothy Mulvaney is now SVP and Chief Accounting Officer, Lumber Liquidators, Inc.
- Brian Newman is now CFO, United Parcel Service (UPS).
- Scott Schenkel is now Interim CEO, eBay Inc.
- Arlen Shenkman is now EVP and CFO, Citrix Systems, Inc.
- David Smoley is now VP, Apple Inc.
- Lorie Tekorius is now President and COO, Greenbrier Companies, Inc.
- Francesco Tinto is now SVP and Global CIO, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
- Nancy Walsh is now CFO, Lumber Liquidators, Inc.
- Daniel Zhang is now Executive Chairman and CEO, Alibaba Group Holding Limited.