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Shuffle Board: New JCP, Dollar Tree CMOs, Kontoor Names ESG Head, IPR Center Selects Director



JCPenney appointed John Aylward as chief marketing officer (CMO), effective June 6.

Aylward assumes the role as the company focuses on strengthening loyalty among its 50 million shoppers and transforms how it connects with customers. Aylward will help advance Penney’s omnichannel strategy to deliver a modern, seamless experience across stores and digital. He will lead the marketing strategy, creative, visual merchandising and store design, and customer engagement teams.

He joins the retailer from CARE, a global nonprofit dedicated to ending poverty, where he served as CMO for five years.

Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree Inc. announced two key executive leadership additions.

John Flanigan joined the organization as chief supply chain officer and Larry Gatta came on board as chief merchandising officer for the Family Dollar banner.

Flanigan most recently served as executive vice president for global supply chain for Dollar General through April 2016. Gatta most recently was senior vice president and general merchandise manager for consumables at Dollar General.

Rick McNeely, chief merchandising officer of Dollar Tree, will lead the Dollar Tree merchandising teams. Dollar Tree operated 16,077 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces as of Jan. 29. Stores operate under the brands of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree Canada.

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel Holdings promoted three executives.

Alicia Waters, who previously served as chief marketing officer, was named executive vice president (EVP) for Crate & Barrel and Crate & Kids. Sebastian Brauer, who previously was VP of product design and development, was named senior VP (SVP) for product design, development and metaverse, and Joan King, previously served as SVP of e-commerce and international was named EVP of digital and international growth.

All three promotions reflect the company’s commitment to growth and reinforce its strategic vision to unify and elevate the customer experience for its family of brands.

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In her new role, Waters will be responsible for driving the strategic direction of the business from product and marketing to retail operations, digital excellence and employee engagement. Brauer will continue to oversee the product design, development and visual merchandising teams for Crate & Barrel brands, and will also take on responsibility for the company’s strategic vision of the future metaverse and web3, while King will continue to lead and build the digital vision across all brands, as well as lead the company’s international expansion into new markets this year.

Crate & Barrel Holdings includes lifestyle brands Crate & Barrel, CB2, Crate & Kids and Hudson Grace. Today, the company is a member of the Otto Group and operates over 100 Crate & Barrel, CB2 and Hudson Grace stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, with franchise locations in nine countries.

Hilco Global

Hilco Global announced that Robert Grosskopf, former co-president of Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, joined Hilco Merchant Resources as an executive vice president.

Grosskopf will focus on executing transactions in connection with retail mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and other strategic initiatives at Hilco Merchant Resources. He will report directly to CEO Ben Nortman.

Hilco Merchant Resources’ activities fall into principal categories including acquisitions, disposition of underperforming stores, retail company or division wind downs and facilitation of mergers and acquisitions.

Solo Brands

Solo Brands Inc., a direct-to-consumer (DTC) platform for lifestyle brands, appointed Somer Webb as chief financial officer (CFO), effective May 16.

Sam Simmons, the company’s current CFO, will help support the transition and will remain at Solo Brands to ensure a smooth transition. Webb joins Solo Brands from Kent Outdoors, a sporting goods manufacturer, where she was CFO.

The company also announced it was adding two new members, Mike Dennison and Dave Powers, to its board of director. Dennison has been CEO of Fox Factory Holdings Corp since 2019. Powers serves as president and CEO of Deckers Brands, a global footwear and apparel company.

Solo Brands, headquartered in Grapevine, Tex. is comprised of four  lifestyle brands–Solo Stove (, Chubbies (, Oru Kayak ( and Isle (


Kontoor Brands

J.C. Penney appointed John Aylward as chief marketing officer and Kontoor Brands appointed Mame Annan-Brown to serve as ESG global head.
Mame Annan-Brown Courtesy

Kontoor Brands Inc., owner of the Wrangler and Lee brands, appointed Mame Annan-Brown to serve as global head of environmental, social and governance (ESG).

In this expanded role, Annan-Brown will lead the integration of Kontoor’s global ESG efforts, spearheading strategy, integration, reporting and engagement across the company’s ongoing commitment to environmental, health and safety, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and other matters. She will also represent Kontoor Brands as an active participant in organizations promoting ESG issues across the business landscape.

Annan-Brown will continue to oversee global communications and public affairs, with responsibility over all aspects of global corporate communications, government relations, global philanthropy and charitable giving.

To ensure full integration of ESG priorities across Kontoor’s business, she will lead Kontoor’s ESG Council, comprised of Kontoor leadership globally, to ensure a highly integrated, coordinated approach to ESG. The council will work to establish a foundational ESG framework and roadmap that establishes Kontoor’s priorities and vision relating to ESG matters, and prioritizes and recommends policies, practices, and disclosures that conform with the strategy.


J.C. Penney appointed John Aylward as chief marketing officer and Kontoor Brands appointed Mame Annan-Brown to serve as ESG global head.
Tyler LaMotte Courtesy

Patagonia, the Ventura, Calif.-based outdoor apparel manufacturer, hired Tyler LaMotte as marketing director, EMEA.

LaMotte will oversee marketing strategy for the brand, throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This is LaMotte’s return to Patagonia, having previously worked as global business unit director for snowsports, performance baselayer, trail running and accessories, at the global headquarters in Ventura. He has also held senior marketing positions at companies including Adidas, Keen, Salomon and Apple.

LaMotte will be based at the company’s EMEA headquarters in Amsterdam.


As part of an ongoing sales leadership restructure, Malouf Home assigned two new district managers to better support its retail partners and capitalize on key areas of growth.

Derek Leishman was named U.S. East District Manager and Matt Adams U.S. West District Manager. Both positions opened up after Malouf appointed Jesse Gibbs as vice president (VP) of national sales and Jeff Holmstead as VP of internationals sales.

Leishman has worked at Malouf for over four years, starting as an account manager for the Northeast Territory and later transitioned to territory manager over the same area. Adams has filled a variety of sales roles during his four years at Malouf. Prior to this new promotion, he was an inbound sales representative, account manager, and most recently, the territory manager over California.


American cycling brand Jelenew appointed Di Liu as creative director.

In 2016, Di Liu joined the core design team of Chanel Haute Couture and made significant achievements in 3D tailoring, fabric reconstruction and fashion trend analysis. In 2019, he joined the French fashion and culture magazine Art Et Mode as editor in chief.

Perfect Moment

Performance ski and sportswear brand Perfect Moment named Anna Gardner as chief commercial officer.

Gardner previously held the role of merchandising director at Net-a-Porter, Mr. Porter and The Outnet, where she was responsible for the product strategy and managed the open-to-buy budget for over 1,000 brands.

The company said Gardner’s appointment will underpin the evolution of Perfect Moment’s product strategy and capitalize on its foundation as a lifestyle brand.

Superior Uniform Group

Superior Group of Companies (SGCs) hired Catherine Beldotti Donlan as president of Superior Uniform Group-Healthcare division.

Beldotti Donlan most recently served as general manager and senior vice president of retail for Innocor, while also serving as an executive advisor and board member to wellness and fitness brands.

Beldotti Donlan will report directly to SGC’ CEO, Michael Benstock. With Donlan’s hiring, Peter Benstock will shift into a strategic advisor role for the remainder of 2022 before entering retirement in 2023.


Modern Meadow

Modern Meadow, a purpose-driven biotechnology company, hired Ann Lee-Jeffs as senior director of corporate sustainability.

In this role, Lee-Jeffs’ immediate objectives include promoting and advancing the renewable and circular economy within the Modern Meadow technology platforms Bio-Alloy and Bio-F@arm, instilling structure and foundation to establish ambitious long term sustainability goals.

These platforms harness the properties of tuned proteins to sustainably move the world away from petrochemical and animal-derived inputs without compromising on performance. These innovations can drop into any existing infrastructures for immediate scalable adoption in the materials, beauty and other industries. These include leather goods, footwear, interiors, transport and apparel applications.



United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the appointment of Heather Hurlburt as chief of staff.

Most recently, Hurlburt directed the New Models of Policy Change project at New America’s Political Reform program. Before that, she held senior positions in conflict prevention and international affairs advocacy, served in the Clinton administration as a speechwriter and member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning staff, and as a Special Assistant and speechwriter to former President Bill Clinton, and worked on Capitol Hill and on the U.S. delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

IPR Center

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executive associate director Steve Francis announced that James Mancuso was selected to serve as the director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination (IPR) Center.

In this role, Mancuso will lead the IPR Center’s investigative efforts to combat global intellectual property theft, protect national security, and ensure public health and safety along alongside FBI deputy director Marcus Joachim and Customs and Border Protection deputy director Brandon Lord.

The IPR Center, working collaboratively with its public and private sector partners, stands at the forefront of the United States government’s response to combatting global intellectual property theft and enforcing intellectual property rights violations.


XPO Logistics

XPO Logistics Inc. announced that Drew Wilkerson, currently XPO’s president of North American Transportation, will become CEO of the company’s planned spin-off of its tech-enabled brokered services platform.

Wilkerson will transition to the CEO role with the spin-off, which the company expects to complete in the fourth quarter of this year. The core business of the spin-off will be XPO’s best-in-class truck brokerage service, with complementary brokered services for last mile logistics, managed transportation and global forwarding. All four asset-light operations are in the North American Transportation division currently led by Wilkerson.

Etihad Cargo

Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, appointed Tim Isik as vice president, commercial.

Based in Etihad Cargo’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Isik will oversee the carrier’s global commercial operations. Isik joins Etihad Cargo from American Airlines, where he gained over a decade of experience working within the aviation and air cargo sectors.

Etihad Cargo’s hub in Abu Dhabi is strategically located at the center of the world’s busiest trade lanes, providing an integral link between Asia, Europe, North America, Australia and Africa.


Sound Commerce

Retail data platform provider Sound Commerce closed a transaction with to retain key talent and leadership, expanding the company’s sales, marketing, customer success and solutions engineering teams.

Through that deal, Sound Commerce appointed digital retailing veteran Steve Davis as chief revenue officer (CRO). In this role, Davis will lead the company’s direct and channel sales, partnership alliances and customer success operations.

Sound Commerce works with retail brands’ existing technology stack to transform customer experience across marketing, merchandising, supply, fulfillment, delivery, and customer service. The data platform tracks real-time operational events, profitability and customer lifetime value to drive decisions and actions fundamental to cross-channel and direct-to-consumer success.


Trove, a specialist in branded re-commerce, announced that president Gayle Tait was promoted to CEO.

Andy Ruben, who has served as CEO since he founded the company in 2011, will become Trove’s executive chairman, focusing closely on industry leadership, sustainability and supporting Trove’s growth strategy.

Tait, who has served as president of Trove and a member of the company’s board since January 2021, joined Trove from Google, where she served as Google Play’s managing director of global retail and payments activation.

Trove powers the technology, operations and analytics that enable brands to create a scalable and profitable branded recommerce channel while maintaining ownership of their customer relationships and data.


Volumental, a computer vision company that helps retailers and brands solve fit, improve customer experiences and transform data into fuel for profitable growth, bolstered its C-suite with a chief financial officer (CFO), Patrik Brakenhielm.

Brakenhielm joined Volumental from SkinCity, where as CFO and interim CEO he was part of transforming a Swedish-based small skincare business into an international e-commerce organization.

More than 100 global brands and retailers have adopted Volumental’s FitTech solutions, leveraging its 3D scanning technology and data tools in 3,000 stores across 46 countries.


Scalefast founders CEO Nicolas Stehle, CTO Frédéric Bocquet, and CMO Olivier Schott will join the ESW senior leadership team after the former, a cross-border commerce solutions provider, acquired the latter, a global provider of e-commerce-as-a-service solutions to brands.