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Shuffle Board: FedEx Shakes Up Execs, Lacoste Creative Director Leaves


FedEx Corp. announced two leadership changes within its executive ranks. FedEx named John A. Smith as the president and CEO of FedEx Freight, effective Aug. 16. Smith, a 32-year transportation industry veteran, currently serves as senior vice president of operations at FedEx Freight, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. He succeeds Michael L. Ducker, who announced plans to retailer earlier this month.

Matthew Thornton III, senior vice president of U.S. operations for FedEx Express, will become executive vice president and chief operating officer of FedEx Freight. In this role, Thornton will manage all FedEx Freight operations. The transition process for Smith and Thornton will begin this month.


Amid Nike’s recent leadership shakeups, the company has promoted another executive to helm its Category Offense. Amy Montagne, a 13-year Nike veteran, was appointed as the company’s vice president, general manager of global categories. Montagne has held various leadership roles at Nike, including vice president and general manager of the global Nike Women’s category and vice president and general manager of global merchandising. Her resume also includes allocation, planning and merchandising stints at other retailers, including Gap Inc. and Walmart.


Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Lacoste’s creative director, is exiting the French sportswear brand after eight years of service. Baptista, who was recognized by Lacoste CEO Thierry Guibert for his contributions to the house, departs following Guibert’s desire to bring Lacoste back to its sportswear market presence. Baptista did not disclose his next move, however Lacoste said its creative studio will take over design responsibilities for the spring 2019 collection.

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Onward Luxury Brand Group

Franco Penè, Onward Luxury Brand Group’s president, is retiring from his post. The company, which has many fashion brands, including Charlotte Olympia and Jil Sander under its umbrella, also produces and distributes apparel, footwear and accessories companies including Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors. As part of this transition, Penè will move to the role of honorary chairman for Onward Luxury Brand Group’s European arm. Takehiro Shiraishi succeeds Penè as the company’s new president.


Kohl’s tapped Dough Howe as its chief merchandising officer. Prior to joining Kohl’s, Howe worked as the global chief merchandising officer of Qurate Retail Group, where he helmed HSN’s and QVC’s product leadership agenda by developing category strategies. Before taking over the role of global chief merchandising officer, Howe lead QVC’s merchandising initiatives for a decade. Howe held previous leadership roles at Gap Inc., May Department Stores and Walmart.


Converse announced a new executive to helm its marketing division. The brand, which was bought by Nike 15 years ago, appointed Sophie Bambuck as its chief marketing officer. Bambuck recently served as the company’s senior brand director for Nike sportswear in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Bambuck succeeds former Converse chief marketing officer Julien Cahn, who left Converse earlier this year to join Supreme, a popular streetwear label.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer tapped Shaun Wills as its interim finance director for apparel and home. Wills, who has more than 25 years retail experience, is currently non-executive director of Salt Rock Surfwear Ltd, a British surf apparel company. His resume also includes stints at Style Group Brands (Jacques Vert Group), which owns women’s wear labels including Eastex and Windsmoor, U.K.-based retailer Debenhams and Superdry, a U.K. international branded apparel company.


Footwear company Oboz hired Judd Salvas as its marketing manager. Salvas previously worked as a sales representative at KNS Reps, a Utah-based company that offers advertising services for brands across the outdoor and skiing industries. Prior to KNS Reps, Salvas held other leadership roles at Batch 171, a brand consulting business and Cultivator Advertising and Design, a Denver-based advertising and marketing agency.


Jean-Jacques Van Oosten, Richemont’s chief technology officer, is stepping down from his post for personal interests. Before joining the luxury conglomerate, Van Oosten worked in senior leadership roles at many companies, including U.K. grocery giant Tesco and Unilever, a global consumer goods company.


NYDJ, a women’s denim label, named Jennifer Adams as its new chief financial officer and chief operating officer. For the past five years, Adams has worked as the chief financial officer and operations leader for The Collected Group, a company that consists of fashion brands Current Elliot and Equipment. Prior to The Collected Group, Adams served as VF Corp.’s cfo for brands, including 7 For All Mankind and JanSport, for eight years.

Shop Direct

Henry Birch, Shop Direct’s incoming CEO, will begin his role on May 14. Birch currently serves as CEO of FTSE 250-listed Rank Group, a company that owns and operates many European casinos. He will succeed interim CEO and group finance director, Derek Harding, who will remain as the company’s group finance director.


Sportswear company Puma hired Dr. Martin Benda as general counsel and global director of legal affairs. Benda previously held senior legal titles at The Coca-Cola Co., including legal director of Great Britain and Ireland, and senior legal counsel of Central and Eastern Europe. Benda succeeds current general counsel Jochen Lederhilger, who is leaving the company after 20 years of service to helm his own legal business.

Fast Retailing

Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s parent company, tapped Takahiro Kinoshita as its Fast Retailing executive officer. Kinoshita, who joins Fast Retailing from Popeye, a Japanese culture and fashion magazine, where he served as editor in chief, will oversee Uniqlo’s creative communications, including branding, product design and marketing.


Molly Kremidas, a global marketing team executive at Nilit, is exiting the company after 19 years of service. Kremidas assumed the role of director of sales, North America at TIPA Corp, an Israel-based producer of biodegradable clear packaging. Nilit is conducting a search for Kremidas’ successor.