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Shuffle Board: Fiske Named Gap Brand CEO, Macy’s Appoints Krishna as Chief Tech Officer

Retail

Gap. Inc.

Gap Inc. appointed Neil Fiske as president and CEO of Gap brand, effective June 20. Fiske will serve on the company’s senior leadership team, reporting to Art Peck, president and CEO of Gap Inc.

Fiske has 20 years of brand building and turnaround experience in specialty retailing. Most recently, he served as CEO at Billabong International, where he restored the flagship Billabong brand to a position of market leadership and multi-year share growth. Prior to that, Fiske spent five years as president and CEO at Eddie Bauer.

Rue 21

R21 Holdings Inc., which operates the Rue 21 specialty chain, appointed Laurie Van Brunt as president and CEO, effective June 25. The company also named Michele Pascoe senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), and Stephen Sommers senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Van Brunt joins Rue21 from Chico’s FAS Inc., where she was president of Soma Intimates from 2010 to 2017, where she led the repositioning to an omnichannel intimates brand and elevated the fashion aesthetic, growing sales to $350 million from $87 million.

Van Brunt succeeds Michael C. Appel, who was named interim CEO last October. Appel will continue to serve as chairman of the board.

Pascoe joins Rue21 from Alvarez & Marsal, a financial consulting firm, where she provided financial advisory services for various retail organizations. She succeeds Stephen Coulombe, who was named interim CFO in March. Sommers was most recently chief marketing officer at Vineyard Vines, a $400 million specialty retail and wholesale apparel brand.

Macy’s Inc.

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Macy’s Inc. appointed Naveen Krishna as chief technology officer, responsible for driving the technology strategy and direction for the company, including all store, e-commerce and internal-facing technologies. He will oversee the teams that build the end-to-end e-commerce experience, enterprise-shared services, infrastructure, field services and functional IT support.

Krishna will report to Hal Lawton, president of Macy’s, and will be based in John’s Creek, Ga., one of the Macy’s Technology hubs. He will also spend time at Macy’s Technology offices in San Francisco and Lorain, Ohio.

Krishna joins Macy’s with more than 20 years of technology experience, primarily in the omnichannel retail and consumer products industries. Most recently, he was vice president of technology for The Home Depot, where he had responsibility for all digital platforms, user experience design, marketing technologies and customer care. Prior to that, he was a director at Target Corp. with overall accountability for Target.com technology and operations.

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer named Damien Huang as president, elevating him from his post of senior vice president of merchandising and design, where he led the company’s strategy and execution for design, merchandising, product line management and product development.

Huang will report to Mike Egeck, CEO of PSEB, a new operating company composed of Eddie Bauer and PacSun. He joined Eddie Bauer in March 2010 as senior vice president of outerwear, accessories and gear.

Eddie Bauer also named Mike Africa as vice president of commerce, with responsibility for the retail and e-commerce businesses. Mike Schulam was also tapped as vice president of merchandising. Africa and Schulam will report to Huang.

Worth Collection

Worth Collection Ltd., a direct-to-consumer women’s fashion apparel company, named Cindy Hall as general merchandise manager and head merchant. At Worth, which operates the luxury brand Worth New York and the contemporary brand W by Worth, Hall will be responsible for merchandising strategy and initiatives, which includes product design, merchandise planning and assortment planning.

Prior to forming her own consulting firm, Hall held senior positions of global merchandising and design and product development at Ann Taylor, Juicy Couture, Aerie by American Eagle Outfitters and Gap. The company sells directly to customers through Worth Stylists and its websites, worthnewyork.com and wbyworth.com.

Brands

Sequential Brands Group

Karen Castellano was named president of fashion ay Sequential Brands Group, where she will oversee the company’s brands in its fashion division that include Jessica Simpson, Joe’s, William Rast and Ellen Tracy.

Castellano, who reports CEO Karen Murray, joins Sequential from G-III Apparel Group, where she was president of the Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Denim and Sportswear division and oversaw the design, sales, merchandising and marketing of the brand. Prior to that, she served as executive vice president of NYDJ Apparel, where she was responsible for leading the sales, retail planning, wholesale planning and merchandising.

Castellano also spent time as CEO of TR Designs Inc. where she managed and led all aspects of the Tracy Reese and Plenty by Tracy Reese lines. She has also had tints at Burberry, Liz Claiborne and Bloomingdale’s.

Reebok

Reebok hired Karen Reuther as global creative director for the company, providing brand-defining and consumer-relevant creative leadership across all design disciplines, including brand identity and design implementation, for every brand and consumer touch point at the activewear company. Reuther will partner with Reebok’s product and marketing teams to deliver innovative, performance-led products for the consumer who is both fitness and style obsessed.

Earlier in her career, Reuther spent 12 years at Nike, including her role as global creative director, where she led global design strategies for the brand across footwear, apparel and equipment. Most recently, she was creative director and brand psychologist at Cast Collective, a Boston-based collective of consultants working in the areas of design, innovation and technology.

Guess Inc.

Guess Inc. said after considering a special committee’s determinations and recommendations, it accepted Paul Marciano’s decision to resign as executive chairman of the board and to fully transition all of his duties and responsibilities at the company as of the expiration of his employment agreement on Jan. 30, 2019, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Marciano will also fulfill his duties and responsibilities as chief creative officer.

During this time frame beginning June 11 and ending Jan. 30, Marciano will receive his salary that was forfeited for the period from Feb. 20 to June 11, the SEC filing noted. To avoid the cost of litigation and without admitting liability or fault, the company and Marciano entered into non-confidential settlement agreements resolving claims of five individuals arising out of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Marciano for an aggregate total amount of $500,000.

The board appointed Maurice Marciano as chairman. At the same time, Paul Marciano notified the board that, as contemplated by the company’s succession plan and in anticipation of the expiration of his employment agreement, he has begun transitioning all of his duties and responsibilities to CEO Victor Herrero.

Footwear

Grendene USA

Grendene USA, the U.S. distributor for sandal brands Rider, Ipanema, Grendha, Zaxy and Cartago, said Kelly Schmidt joined the company as director of sales and merchandising for Rider and Cartago. Schmidt brings more than 20 years of executive wholesale experience to her role at Grendene USA, including a 15-year focus on apparel and footwear.

Prior to joining Grendene USA, Schmidt spent eight years at Okabashi, where she launched the line of its sister brand, OKA b. Schmidt served as vice president and led brand growth and distribution from a small number of independent boutiques to worldwide distribution in top retailers and resorts in the world. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., Grendene USA, Inc. is an independent subsidiary of Grendene S.A. of Farroupilha, Brazil.