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Shuffle Board: New CEOs Named at Diesel and Chico’s, Speedo North America President Returns



Diesel North America announced that Patrick Valeo joined the company as CEO.

In his new role, reporting to global CEO Massimo Piombini, Valeo will lead the company forward focusing on consistent and robust growth. He brings with him an extensive background in leading brands to success.

Most recently, Valeo was president of the Americas and global head of commercial sales at MCM. Prior to that, he was president and chief operating officer of SMCP.

Valeo replaces Stefano Rosso, who spent the past three years in the United States navigating the brand and its operations through a significant reorganization that included a three-year turnaround plan for all channels of business and marketing. Rosso will continue to be part of the board of directors of OTB, the parent company of Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Viktor & Rolf, Amiri, Staff International and Brave Kid.

Vera Bradley

Vera Bradley Inc. announced that Kristina Cashman and Carrie Tharp were nominated to join its board of directors and will be replacing directors Richard Baum and Matthew McEvoy, who are retiring with the end of their terms in June.

Cashman has nearly 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry and has been a key member of several growth company leadership teams, including serving as president of Guy and Larry Restaurants and as chief financial officer of Upward Projects, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Eddie V’s Restaurants, and PF Chang’s. She currently provides consulting and advisory services to restaurant and retail portfolio companies of private equity firms.

Tharp is an experienced digital executive with a track record of growth and innovation in retail and consumer-focused businesses. She is currently vice president of retail and consumer for Google Cloud and previously was the executive vice president and chief digital officer of Neiman Marcus Group.

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Cashman and Tharp will join Vera Bradley’s eight other board members. Vera Bradley is a designer of women’s handbags, luggage and travel items, fashion and home accessories, and gifts.


Following the recent announcement that the Pentland Group completed its acquisition of Speedo North America from PVH Corp., the swimwear company announced that Jim Gerson will be returning to the business as president of Speedo North America.

Gerson was president of Speedo North America from 2010 to 2016 and prior to that was president of the surf brand Reef and held senior vice president roles for The North Face and Jantzen swimwear brands.

Gerson, who starts on June 1 and will report to Pentland CEO Andy Long, will be tasked with leading the Speedo North America team as they prepare for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021, and growing the brand across the region within the swim category.



Chico’s FAS promoted Molly Langenstein to CEO and president. Since August, Langenstein has served as president of the company’s two largest brands, Chico’s and White House Black Market.

The company also announced that current CEO and president Bonnie Brooks, who stepped into her role in April 2019 to lead the company’s turnaround, will now become executive chair of the board of directors and continue to oversee the company’s strategic direction.

William Simon, a member of the board and former president and CEO of Walmart U.S. and senior advisor to KKR private equity firm, will assume the role of lead independent director. David Walker, who has served as board chair for the past five years, will remain a member of the board. Langenstein also will become a member of the board. All appointments are effective June 24.

These three new simultaneous leadership appointments are the result of a planned succession designed to strengthen and provide ongoing stability and continuity to the business, and to further support the company’s future.

As president of Chico’s and White House Black Market for the past nine months, Langenstein led the apparel group, including its brick-and-mortar boutiques and digital platforms, while increasing sales and product quality, and elevating taste and style.

Hibbett Sports

Hibbett Sports Inc. announced the nomination of Jamere Jackson for election as a Class III director at the company’s annual meeting of stockholders on May 28.

Current Class III director Ralph T. Parks is retiring from service on the board in accordance with its tenure policy.

Jackson is chief financial officer of Hertz Global Holdings Inc., a multi-billion-dollar global rental car and fleet leasing company. He also serves on the board of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Company.

Hibbett, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., is an athletic-inspired fashion retailer with approximately 1,100 stores under the Hibbett Sports and City Gear brands, primarily located in small and mid-sized communities. It also operates the and e-commerce sites.



The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Sebastian Mikosz will join the organization as its senior vice president for member and external relations, effective June 1.

Most recently, Mikosz was group managing director and CEO of Kenya Airways, during which time he served on the IATA board of governors. At IATA, Mikosz will lead the organization’s global advocacy activities and aero-political policy development, along with managing the association’s strategic relationships. This includes IATA’s 290 member airlines, as well as governments, international organizations and stakeholders in the private and public sectors.

Mikosz will report to director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac and join the IATA’s strategic leadership team. He replaces Paul Steele, who retired from IATA in October. Brian Pearce, IATA’s chief economist, has since been handling the duties of this post on an interim basis.