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Shuffle Board: Kering Names Diversity Chief, Patagonia Appoints Japan GM, Burberry Taps Supply Chain Head



Kering appointed Kalpana Bagamane Denzel as chief diversity, inclusion and talent officer, signaling a new stage in the group’s support of diversity.

Kalpana will be based at Kering’s headquarters in Paris and will report to Béatrice Lazat, chief people officer. Working with Kering’s brands and global group functions, Kalpana will align and execute Kering’s global diversity and inclusion mission and strategy.

Kalpana most recently was managing director at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, where she co-led its diversity and inclusion practice, as well as advised and partnered with global and Asian clients across the consumer and retail sectors on talent strategy, acquisition and development.

Kering manages the development of Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux and Kering Eyewear. In 2018, Kering had nearly 35,000 employees and revenue of 13.7 billion euros ($14.97 billion).


Patagonia hired Marty Pomphrey as general manager of Patagonia Japan.

In this position, Pomphrey will oversee Patagonia’s growing business in Japan that started in 1988 and today includes more than 500 employees and 22 stores. He will report to John Collins, vice president of global sales at the outdoor apparel firm.

Pomphrey will build on the success and strong tradition established by longtime general manager Takasuki Tsujii, who has stepped away from the role after 10 years of leading Patagonia’s team in Japan. Tsujii joined Patagonia in 1999 as a part-time associate in Patagonia’s Shibuya store and held many roles before he became general manager. He was instrumental in growing Patagonia’s business and team in Japan.

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Pomphrey brings 24 years of experience building successful businesses as a corporate executive, consultant and an entrepreneur. Since 2007, he has focused on numerous new business-development projects, both as a consultant and an entrepreneur.


Intimate Apparel firm Wacoal America Inc. announced its CEO succession plan, with Bob Vitale announcing his retirement and stepping down as president and handing the reins over to Mitch Kauffman, who was previously the brand’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Vitale will continue to serve as CEO, advising and lending guidance to Kauffman until March, when Kauffman is expected to assume the role.


Burberry appointed Jerome Le Bleis as chief supply chain officer, effective Jan.1.

Le Bleis will join Burberry from Lacoste in Paris, where he is currently executive vice president (EVP) of group operations. He has previously held senior positions at Carrefour and Nestle.

In his new role, Le Bleis will lead Burberry’s supply chain team from London. He will report to CEO Marco Gobbetti and succeeds Roberto Canevari, who is now EVP of supply chain Europe at Unilever.



Tilly’s Inc. appointed Tricia D. Smith as EVP and chief merchandising officer.

Smith will oversee all aspects of the company’s merchandising operations, including buying, sourcing and product development, along with coordinating consistency in merchandising experiences in store and online.

Prior to joining the company, Smith served as EVP and general merchandise manager of women’s, young contemporary, designer and specialized apparel at Nordstrom Inc.

Tilly’s also announced that Michael L. Henry was promoted to the title of EVP and chief financial officer.

Tilly’s is a specialty retailer of casual apparel, footwear and accessories for young men, young women, boys and girls. It is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and operates 231 stores across 33 states and its website,

Citi Trends

Citi Trends Inc. hired Lisa Powell as EVP and chief merchandising officer.

Powell will oversee the merchandising, planning and allocation functions of the company. More recently, Powell served for the past five years as vice president and general merchandise manager for men’s and ladies’ omnichannel for Century 21 Department Stores.

In addition, Citi Trends announced that Ken Seipel is joining the company’s board of directors. Seipel is currently CEO of West Marine Inc.

Citi Trends is a value-priced retailer of urban fashion apparel and accessories for the entire family. The company operates 564 stores located in 33 states.


Omnichannel service provider NewStore announced that Jeff Barnett joined its board of directors.

Barnett is a former CEO of Salesforce Commerce Cloud and chief operating officer Demandware. NewStore operates a platform for retailers to run their stores on iPhones. Purpose-built for mobile shoppers, the company provides Omnichannel-as-a-Service.



Spinnova, a sustainable fiber company, appointed Pia Qvintus as business development manager as the company is on the verge of its commercialization phase.

Qvintus has spent most of her career heading research organizations of the VTT, the Technical Research Center of Finland, dealing with the development of new bio-based applications of forest biomass since 1994. Her most recent position with the VTT was technology manager for commercialization of bio-based materials and technologies.

At Spinnova, Qvintus’ main objective will be to support and develop Spinnova’s current brand partnerships and ensuring future customers for the commercial production of the world’s most sustainable fiber. After successfully starting its test facility production line last spring, Spinnova is now focusing on end product development with partnering brands, while starting to plan for the commercial phase of the sustainable fiber production.