Caleres, with a diverse portfolio of footwear brands, announced several transformational changes to its leadership structure that will ensure greater alignment with its strategic direction, accelerate its growth initiatives, unlock the power of its portfolio of brands and drive sustainable, long-term value for its shareholders.
Jay Schmidt was named president of the company, assuming responsibility for all of the consumer and brand strategy for Caleres’ entire portfolio, which includes Famous Footwear, Allen Edmonds, Dr. Scholl’s, Naturalizer, Sam Edelman and Vionic. Schmidt most recently held the position of division president, Caleres Brand Portfolio.
Caleres also announced several other changes to its leadership structure. Lydia Park Luis joined as president, Brand Portfolio-New York Group, and will have responsibility for the company’s international business. Luis was most recently CEO of Jack Rogers where she oversaw rebranding and reorganization of the 60-year-old footwear brand.
Keith Duplain was promoted to president, Brand Portfolio-St. Louis Group. Duplain has been with Caleres for 15 years and has more than two decades of experience within the industry. Duplain played an instrumental role in reconceptualizing and growing Caleres’ Dr. Scholl’s brand and, more recently, has been leading the organization’s sustainability efforts.
As previously reported, Michael Edwards was named president, Famous Footwear leading Caleres’ largest brand.
In addition, the company has formed a digital acceleration team to optimize resources, leverage its capabilities and take full advantage of the significant growth in its e-commerce business.
Willis Hill, Caleres’ senior vice president and chief information officer, has been entrusted to assemble the core digital team, formulate a strategy, execute the plan and drive further ecommerce growth across the entire portfolio.
Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN), which operates a portfolio of global consumer brands comprised of the Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, FP Movement, Terrain, Urban Outfitters, Nuuly and Menus & Venues brands, promoted Melanie Marein-Efron, the company’s executive director of corporate development and finance, to chief financial officer.
Marein-Efron joined URBN in 2013 as director of financial, planning and analysis, was subsequently promoted to executive director of finance and corporate development.
Today, Walmart appointed Dr. Cheryl Pegus as its executive vice president of health and wellness.
In this role, Pegus will further develop Walmart’s healthcare vision, leading health and wellness across the Walmart enterprise. She will report to Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner, and her first day with Walmart will be Dec. 21.
Pegus joins Walmart from her most recent role as Cambia Health Solution’s president of consumer health solutions and chief medical officer, where she was responsible for clinical and consumer strategy to increase access to affordable, equitable care. Pegus is also co-founder of A New Beat, an organization dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health and careers of women and under-represented minorities.
Walmart Health & Wellness consists of more than 4,700 pharmacies, more than 3,400 Vision Centers, Walmart Health centers, digital health capabilities and Walmart Insurance Services.
Noble Biomaterials, a specialist in antimicrobial and conductivity solutions for soft-surface applications, hired marketing veteran Allon Cohne as its new chief marketing officer (CMO).
Prior to joining Noble, Cohne was CMO at Vibram Group, a maker of high-performance rubber outsoles for shoes in the sports, leisure, industrial, orthopedic and repair markets. Prior to that, he served as global marketing director at Polartec, where he led global marketing functions, developed and implemented brand strategy and managed media and public relations efforts.
Noble Biomaterials produces advanced material technologies for the performance apparel, healthcare, industrial and emerging wearable technology markets.
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), a global transportation and logistics firm, welcomed Soren Toft in his new role as CEO.
Toft reports directly to Diego Aponte, MSC group president, and Gianluigi Aponte, founder and MSC group chairman. In his role as CEO, Toft oversees MSC’s global cargo businesses, including ocean liner and logistics. He will also be a member of the board of directors of Terminal Investment Ltd., the terminals business majority-owned by MSC.
Toft joins MSC from Maersk, where he served as chief operating officer since 2013.
Payments provider and shopping service Klarna appointed Michael Moritz, partner at Sequoia Capital, as chairman of the Klarna board of directors and the appointment of three new members to the board: Omid R. Kordestani, former executive chairman of Twitter; Lise Kaae of Bestseller Group, and Sarah Smith, a senior advisor at Goldman Sachs.
Current chairman Jon Kamaluddin and board member Sarah McPhee will resign from their positions on the board.
These appointments come at a time of significant momentum for the company. Klarna, which offers consumers an easier and more convenient way to shop, pay and bank, continues to drive rapid adoption and loyalty. More than 21 million new consumers have joined Klarna since the start of 2020 and the company continues to grow its global network of 200,000 retail partners including H&M, Macys, Etsy, IKEA, Sephora, Expedia Group, Charlotte Tilbury, The North Face, Samsung, Nike and AliExpress.
Moritz has served on the Klarna board since 2010 when Sequoia became one of the company’s earliest investors. Kaae is currently CEO of HeartLand A/S, the investment entity of the Bestseller Group, the global retail group and currently sits on the firm’s board.
Kordestani currently sits on their Twitter board. Previously, he served as senior vice president and chief business officer for Google Inc. Smith is a former member of the management committee of Goldman Sachs, where she served as chief compliance officer, controller and chief accounting officer.
Accel Robotics, a San Diego-based startup focused on AI and computer vision for checkout-free stores, hired Dr. Ron Khormaei as vice president of engineering and Jeff Hermann as senior director of product management.
Accel Robotics’ camera-based AI and computer vision system allows shoppers to enter a store, grab the items they want, walk out and receive a receipt via text message or app notification. Additionally, the platform empowers retailers to quickly deploy stores in new environments, allowing them to extend their reach, acquire new customers and increase revenue while adhering to strict safety guidelines.
In his new role, Khormaei is tasked with taking Accel Robotics’ technology platform to the next phase of commercialization. He will lead the engineering team and work closely with Accel Robotics’ chief technology officer to integrate the technology into planned products as part of the company’s long-term roadmap.
Khormaei has held CEO and VP of engineering roles at several startups, including Ossia, Clarisonic and FINEX Cast Iron Cookware. He is also currently an adjunct associate professor at Portland State University, with courses and research in Technology Management and New Product Development.
Hermann will focus on growing the company’s product management team and expanding Accel Robotics’ solution offerings. Prior to joining Accel Robotics, Hermann was the director of product management at Fox Factory Inc., where he oversaw product management for the Powered Vehicles division, covering both new technology introductions into OEM vehicle applications, and retail aftermarket product lines.
Appriss Retail, which provides retail performance improvement solutions, promoted Cheryl Blake to vice president, global client success, from her role as the company’s vice president of case and audit systems.
This new role unifies the multiple client services teams that span Appriss Retail’s acquisitions of The Retail Equation, Sysrepublic, LP Software and Verisk Retail.
Blake started her career as a store detective in Detroit. She progressed through increasingly responsible positions at multiple retailers, including Lord & Taylor, Toys R Us/Kids R Us, Caldor, Funcoland and GameStop. Later, she used that experience to enhance solution development, implementation and support at Aspect Loss Prevention, an exception-based reporting solution later acquired by Verisk Retail.
She will be based in the Minneapolis office and will oversee client services worldwide.
Appriss Retail, a division of Appriss Inc., provides artificial intelligence-based solutions to help retailers protect margin, unlock sales and cut shrink. The company’s Software-as-a-Service platform generates advanced analytical insights and real-time decisions that drive action throughout the organization, including operations, finance, marketing, and loss prevention.
Cross-border payment platform dLocal, which connects merchants to emerging markets, announced the addition of two new members to its executive team. Hernán Di Chello will serve as chief technology officer and Diego Cabrera Canay joins as chief financial officer.
Di Chello joins following two decades at Mercado Libre, the largest e-commerce system in Latin America, where he served as vice president of product development for the last five years. Canay brings more than 12 years of experience at Mercado Libre, where he served as vice president of strategy and business finance.
The appointments of Di Chello and Cabrera Canay demonstrate dLocal’s continued momentum and reinforces its ambitious expansion plans following the company’s landmark $200 million funding round, led by General Atlantic in September. The external investment resulted in a $1.2 billion valuation, making dLocal Uruguay’s first unicorn and one of the highest-valued Latin American-based financial technology companies.
Over 450 global e-commerce retailers, SaaS companies, online travel providers, and marketplaces rely on dLocal to accept over 300 locally relevant payment methods, as well as issue millions of payments to their contractors, agents, and sellers in growth markets around the world. Some of dLocal’s customers include Booking.com, Constant Contact, DropBox, GoDaddy, MailChimp, Spotify, TripAdvisor, Uber, Wikimedia and Zara.