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Shuffle Board: New Presidents at North Face and Playboy, JCP Adds Digital Experts, Nester Hosiery Names SVP

Brands

The North Face

VF appointed Nicole Otto global brand president for The North Face, while J.C. Penney named two execs to boost e-commerce and omnichannel.
Nicole Otto Courtesy

VF Corp. appointed Nicole Otto to the position of global brand president for The North Face.

Otto joins VF following a 16-year career at Nike and will succeed Steve Murray, who is retiring and returning to the U.K. The leadership transition will be effective June.

Otto will report to VF chairman, president and CEO Steve Rendle, and serve on VF’s executive leadership team. She recently served as vice president of Nike Direct North America from 2018 through May 2021. In this role, she oversaw Nike’s digital experiences and full fleet of inline and factory stores throughout the North America region.

Otto’s appointment is part of VF’s succession plan in response to Murray’s planned retirement this year. Murray was appointed global brand president at The North Face in September 2020. He previously served as executive vice president of VF Corp. and group president for VF’s Americas Region.

A division of VF Outdoor, Denver-based The North Face distributes products via premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally.

Steve Madden

Steve Madden, a designer and marketer of footwear, accessories and apparel for women, men and children, appointed Arian Simone, president and CEO of the Fearless Fund, and Peter A. Davis, a footwear and apparel industry veteran, to its board of directors.

Their appointments expand the board to 11 directors, nine of whom are independent directors.

In addition to marketing products under its own brands, including Steve Madden, Dolce Vita, Betsey Johnson, Blondo, Greats, BB Dakota and Mad Love, Steve Madden is a licensee of various brands, including Anne Klein and Superga. Steve Madden’s wholesale distribution includes department stores, specialty stores, luxury retailers, national chains, mass merchants and online retailers. The company also operates brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce websites.

Playboy

PLBY Group Inc., a pleasure and leisure lifestyle company and owner of Playboy, appointed Ashley Kechter as president of global consumer goods, Megan Jordan as chief communications officer of the company, and Julie Hastings as Honey Birdette’s CEO.

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Kechter joins the company on Jan. 17 and will report to Ben Kohn, PLBY Group’s CEO. She will oversee all consumer products, including licensing and merchandise for the full portfolio of brands, including the Playboy flagship brand, Yandy, Lovers and Honey Birdette.

Kechter comes to PLBY Group from Gap Inc., where she most recently was in charge of Banana Republic’s global factory business. Reporting to Kechter are the brand leaders, including Hastings, the new CEO of PLBY’s Group’s fast-growing, luxury lingerie and lifestyle brand Honey Birdette. Based in Australia, Hastings is focused on leveraging PLBY Group and the Playboy brand’s global operations to accelerate Honey Birdette’s expansion into new territories and product categories. Hastings served as Honey Birdette’s chief operating officer since October.

Jordan reports to Kohn and will focus on guiding the company’s reputation and positioning as it continues to transform its culture, mission and business to achieve its full brand potential. Jordan brings decades of experience building corporate reputations and leading communications for large, public companies, including Herbalife Nutrition and Southern California Edison.

Nester Hosiery

Nester Hosiery, a U.S. manufacturer of performance merino wool socks and parent of Farm to Feet socks, added Chris Bevin to its executive team as senior vice president of brands and licenses.

Bevin has 30 years of industry experience in manufacturing and retail sides of the business. He joined Balega in 2005, helped establish the brand as a leader in the performance sock category, and ultimately was president of the business from 2009 through 2015. He transitioned to Implus when it acquired Balega in 2015 and went on to oversee independent retail sales for multiple Implus brands.

Nester Hosiery branded and licensed product areas, including Ariat, Keen Footwear and Woolrich licensed brands, and Nester’s Farm to Feet brand, will report up to Bevin.

Nester Hosiery is based in Mount Airy, N.C., near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The company is a manufacturer for the outdoor industry, operating state-of-the-art knitting, finishing and packaging equipment to make premium outdoor performance socks.

Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear Company named former Nike executive Jim Beeman as vice president of U.S. sales for the Columbia brand. In this role, Beeman will report to Tim Sheerin, senior vice president of global wholesale for the Columbia brand.

Retail

JCPenney

JCPenney announced two executive appointments to fortify the company’s e-commerce and omnichannel investments.

Sharmeelee Bala was named chief information officer (CIO). She will assume responsibility for the information technology (IT) organization and global technology systems that power the company’s stores, operational centers and supply chain, and corporate functions. Bala will lead development of solutions to unite J.C. Penney’s physical assets with its evolving digital footprint.

Bala joins the company from Gap Inc., where she held leadership positions since 2018 and most recently served as the head of product engineering.

Katie Mullen became Penney’s chief digital and transformation officer (CDO). Mullen will lead the growth of the e-commerce business, including jcp.com. Mullen will also be responsible for driving enterprise strategy and the company’s transformation agenda. She most recently spent nearly three years with Neiman Marcus Group, serving as chief transformation officer and then CDO.

JCPenney serves customers at more than 650 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico, and at its digital flagship on jcp.com.

ThredUp

ThredUp, a resale platform for women’s and kid’s apparel, shoes and accessories, appointed Coretha Rushing to the company’s board of directors.

With more than 35 years of human resources experience, Rushing will advise ThredUp on its employee initiatives, with a focus on health and wellness, attraction and retention, and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB).

Rushing has held executive positions at Equifax Inc., the Coca-Cola Company, Pepsi and IBM, and also founded her own consulting firm, CR Consulting Alliance LLC.

ThredUp is transforming resale with technology and a mission to inspire a new generation of consumers to think secondhand first. ThredUp has processed more than 125 million secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories.

Asos

ASOS announced the appointment of Patrick Kennedy, chairman of Bank of Ireland Group and former CEO of Paddy Power, as senior independent non-executive director and Audit Committee chair.

Through its app and mobile/desktop web experience, available in over 200 markets, Asos customers can shop a curated edit of more than 90,000 products, sourced from nearly 900 global and local third-party brands alongside a mix of fashion-led own-brand labels–Asos Design, Asos Edition, Asos 4505, Collusion, Reclaimed Vintage, Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT.