Pentland Brands promotes Chirag Patel to COO

Pentland Brands, the company behind global brand names such as Speedo, Mitre, Ellesse, Canterbury, Boxfresh and Berghaus, has promoted Chirag Patel as its Chief Operating Officer.

Commenting on the development, Andy Long, CEO, Pentland Brands, said in a media statement: “Our focus in 2017 was on setting our business up for growth, so we can make our brands matter to more people. This year is about delivering what we've set out in our three-year plan, so we’ve evolved Chirag Patel’s role, from global strategy & portfolio director to Chief Operating Officer, to lead this work.”

The company said, as part of his new role, Patel will continue to lead the Pentland Brands strategy and planning process, as well as leading growth through the acquisition of new brands and footwear licenses.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the executive team to grow our current brand business, alongside investing in new high potential brands, so we continue to build our great portfolio of active and footwear brands,” added Patel.

Patel, who previously worked across sales and marketing roles for Datamonitor and Power Plate International, joined Pentland Brands in 2011 as global vice president of marketing & product for Mitre International. He was promoted to managing director of the brand in 2013 before moving to Lacoste Chaussures in 2014 as global vice president, product & marketing. He then joined the Pentland Brands executive team as director of strategy & portfolio in 2017, where he led the team behind the investment in US sneaker brand, SeaVees, and the footwear joint venture business with the Lacoste Group.

Picture credit:Chirag Patel via Pentland Brands

Yasuhito Hirota joins Asics as President and COO

Asics Corporation has named Yasuhito Hirota as President and COO, who will take up the new role on March 29, 2018.

Commenting on Hirota’s appointment, Motoi Oyama, Asics CEO, who became President of Asics in 2008, and was appointed Chairman of the board in March 2017, said in a statement: “Approaching my eleventh year in the role, the decision to appoint a new president was taken in order to ensure that the group can advance as one towards the next stage of our medium-term strategy, the ASICS Growth Plan (AGP) 2020. After becoming Chairman of the board last year, I decided that this would be the correct time to hand over the role of president to Hirota, and let him oversee the practical management of the company.”

Hirota joins Asics from Mitsubhishi Corporation where he served for almost 38 years and most recently worked as executive vice president and head of regional strategy for Japan.

“It is a great honor for me to accept the position of President and COO with Asics Corporation. Working in conjunction with Oyama and the Asics senior management team, I am ready to continue the global progress of the Asics Group,” added Hirota.


Ralph Lauren hires senior executives to strengthen global digital presence

Ralph Lauren Corporation has made several senior talent appointments to drive expansion of the company’s digital presence globally. The company said, Alice Delahunt will join Ralph Lauren in the newly created role of Chief Digital Officer, reporting to Patrice Louvet, Chief Executive Officer, and will be a part of the company’s executive leadership team, beginning in April. She will be responsible for elevating the company’s global digital platforms and enhancing the digital experience for consumers across all channels to drive consumer acquisition, retention, value and revenue.

“We are moving urgently to expand our digital presence all over the world and bringing in the right senior talent to help us deliver,” said Louvet in a media statement, adding, “We have to meet consumers where they are, which is increasingly online, and digital expansion is one critical way we will drive new growth for our iconic business and brand.”

Ralph Lauren appoints senior executives to drive digital

The company added that Delahunt joins Ralph Lauren from Burberry, where she served as director of digital marketing and led digital innovation on social media platforms globally. She began her career at JWT London.

The company has also appointed new senior leaders to support its evolution across ecommerce in North America and internationally. Laura Porco has been appointed Senior Vice President, E-Commerce for Ralph Lauren North America. Porco formerly ran ecommerce for Ralph Lauren's Club Monaco brand and was previously with Amazon for 12 years where she led the launch of Kindle Books and MyHabit.com.

Galen Hardy, Ralph Lauren added, will take on the role of Senior Vice President, Club Monaco E-Commerce & Business Operations, joining the company from Zappos where he oversaw apparel merchandising, owning the growth and direction of Zappos.com’s clothing business. Also Valeria Juarez will assume the role of Senior Vice President, E-Commerce, International. She served as senior vice president, ecommerce, EMEA since 2016 and, prior to joining Ralph Lauren held various senior roles at Amazon UK and Diageo.

Additionally, to support Ralph Lauren’s global digital expansion, Janet Sherlock, Chief Information Officer, joined the company in August from Carter’s, where she also served as CIO and Cyrus “Cy” Fenton will be joining her team as Senior Vice President, IT security & infrastructure, Chief Information Security Officer. He was previously at Books-A-Million Inc. leading the omnichannel digital business.

Picture:Facebook/Ralph Lauren

Primark appoints James Mooney, Director of merchandising

Primark, part of the Associated British Foods Plc, has appointed James Mooney as a Director of merchandising, who joined the business from January 15, 2018. Mooney, the company added, brings years of international experience to Primark having previously held a number of senior merchandising roles at Arcadia Group.

The company further said in a statement that Mooney will be based at Primark’s head office in Dublin and will be responsible for leading merchandising for womenswear across the company’s ROI, Southern European and USA markets.

In its recent trading update for the 16 weeks to January 6, 2018, sales at Primark increased 7 percent compared to the same period last year at constant currency driven by increased retail selling space.

Picture:Primark Boston via PRshots

Famous Footwear President Rick Ausick to retire this year

Caleres has announced that Rick Ausick, President of Famous Footwear, will retire in 2018 as part of a planned succession. The company said, Ausick, and his leadership team, have been integral in developing and executing Famous Footwear’s highly successful strategic plan.

“The Caleres board of directors and its executive leadership has been preparing for Rick’s retirement by developing a deep bench of strong leaders at Famous Footwear and by expanding the breadth and depth of our brand Portfolio,” said Diane Sullivan, CEO, President and Chairman of Caleres in a statement, adding, “We are actively managing the search for Rick’s successor, and, since it is incredibly important for us to find the right person for this role.”

Ausick joined Caleres in 2002 as Famous Footwear’s senior vice president and chief merchandise officer, directing the chain’s merchandising assortment, achieving increased purchase ratios, lower inventories and faster merchandise turns. After spending three years as division president of wholesale, Ausick returned to Famous Footwear as division president in 2010.

Picture:Famous Footwear blog

Ed Barker to succeed Nick Wharton as Superdry CFO

Superdry’s chief financial officer (CFO) Nick Wharton is retiring from his position in order to pursue a plural career. The company said, he will be succeeded by Ed Barker, currently director of group finance, and previously interim chief financial officer, at J Sainsbury plc.

Commenting on the development, Euan Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer of Superdry, said in a statement: "Nick has been a key part of the team leading the repositioning of Superdry as a global digital brand which has demonstrated world-leading capabilities and a strong track record of strategic and financial delivery. I am delighted that Ed is joining us as we embark on the next phase of our ambitious growth plans. He has strong experience of building brands and leading in competitive multi-channel businesses through his previous roles at Sainsbury and Burberry."

Barker, the company added, is currently director of group finance with Sainsbury having held a number of financial and operational roles at that company since joining in 2008. Between July 2016 and March 2017 he was the interim chief financial officer for Sainsbury. Before joining Sainsbury, he worked as group financial controller at Burberry plc. He is a non-executive director at Staffline Group plc.

Picture:Superdry website

Belinda Earl to head M&S’s womenswear and beauty segment

After announcing the departure of Jo Jenkins, director of womenswear and beauty, Marks and Spencer Plc (M&S) has temporarily delegated the responsibility to Belinda Earl, Director of the company's style, reports Modaes.es. Meanwhile, responsibility of the department of lingerie purchases has been assigned to Laura Charles.

The company said that both Charles and Earl have already stepped into their new roles with immediate effect, and report to Jill McDonald, Director of the fashion, home and beauty division at Marks & Spencer. At the beginning of this month, M&S had announced the appointment of Humphrey Singer as CFO. He earlier held the same position with Dixons Carphone.

The company has also announced that Nathan Ansell, who is currently marketing director customer & loyalty, is appointed to the new role of Marketing Director, clothing & home.

Picture:M&S website

Arthur Martinez steps down as executive chairman of Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has announced that Arthur C. Martinez will step down as executive chairman of its board of directors at the conclusion of its fiscal year ending February 3, 2018 in connection with his plans to retire as a director and not stand for re-election at the company's 2018 annual meeting of shareholders in June. The company added that Terry L. Burman, Lead Independent Director and Chair of the nominating and board governance committee will assume the role of Non-Executive Chairman at that time.

"I am proud of the demonstrable progress that Abercrombie & Fitch is making under the leadership of Fran Horowitz, who was appointed Chief Executive Officer early last year," said Martinez in a media release, adding "My decision to step down as executive chairman and not stand for reelection to the board is part of a planned transition of the chairman role. With the company on a solid trajectory, this is the right time to hand over board leadership to Terry, who has outstanding credentials as a retail industry leader and is the right person to assume the role.”

Abercrombie & Fitch Executive Chairman steps down

Abercrombie & Fitch said that Martinez and Burman both joined the company’s board in January 2014 and Martinez was appointed non-executive chairman of the board at that time, and has served as the company's Executive Chairman since December 2014.

"In the realm of business leaders, Arthur is a singular talent," said Burman, adding, "Abercrombie & Fitch has benefited enormously from his deep expertise and steady hand at a time of turbulence both at the company and in our industry."

Martinez, the company added, has enjoyed a long and highly accomplished career in retailing. He led the turnaround of Sears in the late 1990's as its chief executive officer, restoring the company to profitability after years of losses. He also served in a number of senior executive positions at Saks Fifth Avenue, among other companies. He has also served as chairman of HSNi until it was acquired in late December 2017 and of ABN-Amro, the largest bank in the Netherlands, and a director of AIG, PepsiCo, International Flavors & Fragrances and Kate Spade, among other companies. He is currently Chairman of Greenwich Hospital and a Trustee of Yale-New Haven Health System and Northwestern University.

Burman, the company further said, currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Tuesday Morning Corporation and as a Director of Learning Care Group. During his career he held the positions of president and chief executive officer of Barry's Jewelers, chief executive officer of Signet, chairman of Zale Corporation and was a member of the board of directors of Yankee Candle Company. He has also served as chairman of the board of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Picture:Abercrombie website

Pradeep Chotai appointed Finance Director at Little Mistress

Little Mistress Group has announced the appointment of Pradeep Chotai, as its new Finance Director, reports Drapers.

The company said that Chotai, who would be joining the business on January 23, 2018, worked as UK finance and operations director for Tommy Hilfiger for a decade till 2013 and then served in the same role at PVH for next three years. He was earlier associated with Pepe Jeans for 12 years handling different roles within the finance department.

After Chotai left PVH in 2016, he worked as a consultant to various companies including Maison Blanc and Brand Machine Group.

Little Mistress Group, having brands such as Little Mistress, Girls on Film and Paper Dolls under its fold, recently reported a 134 percent jump in revenue from its website for the period between October 1 and December 31, 2017.

Picture:Little Mistress blog

Seafolly names new chief executive officer

Australian swimwear brand Seafolly has named former DKNY commercial head, Paul Kotrba as its new chief executive officer, to “further develop its global growth potential”.

Kotrba is an experienced global retail executive with over 15 years spent in New York City at Donna Karan and DKNY during the period of ownership under LVMH. There he successfully built brand equity by leading the execution of the groups’ commercial growth strategy across the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Commenting on his new role, Kotrba said: “I am very much looking forward to joining the Seafolly team and for us to expand this powerful Australian brand across the globe. It is impressive what the founders and the management team have accomplished and to experience the loyal following the brand has, especially here in Australia.

“I believe there is now a real opportunity to build Seafolly into the world’s number one iconic swimwear and beach lifestyle brand.”

Chairman and managing partner of the majority shareholder private equity group, L Catterton Asia, Ravi Thakran, added: “Paul’s appointment is another significant step in our journey in continuing to expand the brand that Peter and Anthony Halas have successfully built over the last four decades.

“Paul’s leadership and experience will be a huge asset to Seafolly in the next stage of growth and bring us closer to becoming the world’s most recognised brand in this exciting category.”

Former DKNY commercial head Paul Kotrba named chief executive of Seafolly

Founded in 1975 by Peter and Yvonne Halas, the Seafolly brand was led by Anthony Halas since 1998 when he became chief executive, and subsequently grew the business across several international markets in Europe, North America and Asia.

Halas, who remains a non-executive director and shareholder said: “Paul’s extensive commercial acumen and experience building brand equity in established and emerging markets is second-to-none. His international experience combined with Seafolly’s unique history is a success formula for the brand’s future.”

Seafolly is sold in over 2,700 doors in 41 countries, through its own channels, leading retailers and major online sites. There are 33 Seafolly stores, 22 in Australia, 7 in the US and 4 in Singapore. The company ships to Australia and the US through its own e-commerce site. The brand also operates another premium swimwear and apparel resort brand, Miléa, and a chain of multi-brand swimwear stores under the Sunburn banner.

Image: Seafolly Facebook