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Shuffle Board: Penny’s Names Wlazlo Chief Merchant, Athlete’s Foot Taps Jesenek as Global CEO


J.C. Penney

Michelle Wlazlo joined J.C. Penney Co. as executive vice president and chief merchant. Wlazlo reports to the company’s CEO, Jill Soltau.

Wlazlo was most recently senior vice president of apparel and accessories merchandising at Target Corp., where she helped lead and implement a robust merchandising program that included the launch of 15 new private label brands. Before that she had a 19-year tenure at Gap Inc. in a variety of roles across different divisions.

The company also named John Welling as senior vice president, planning and allocation, and Mark Stinde as senior vice president, asset protection. Welling was most recently senior vice president of merchandising operations for The Michaels Cos., while Stinde was at 8-Eleven serving as vice president of asset protection.


HBC announced that Alison Coville will step down as president of Hudson’s Bay and Home Outfitters, effective March 1.

The company has retained an executive search firm to recruit a new president of Hudson’s Bay to further enhance the business’ strategies and drive its next phase of growth. Hudson’s Bay will be led by key executives from the HBC team, under the direction of Helena Foulkes, CEO of HBC, until a permanent successor is found.

HBC is a diversified retailer with formats ranging from luxury and premium department stores to off price fashion shopping destinations, with 350 stores and more than 45,000 employees around the world. HBC’s leading businesses across North America include Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Saks Off 5TH.


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Nordstrom Inc. appointment Kirsten Green, Forerunner Ventures founder and managing director, and Glenda McNeal, American Express Company Enterprise Strategic Partnerships president, to its board of directors.

Green launched San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures in 2010. The company specializes in investing in ambitious entrepreneurs who define and dominate a new generation of commerce. McNeal leads American Express’ strategy, negotiations and key initiatives for the company’s strategic relationships, including the largest travel, e-commerce, technology and retail partners.

The company also said Phil Satre, independent director, announced he will not seek re-election and his term will end in May. Satre was appointed to the board in 2006. The two appointments and Satre’s retirement from the board in May will bring the total number of directors to 11, nine of whom serve as independent directors.



Polygiene appointed Vishal Bhandari as technical director covering South Asia. Bhandari will be based in New Delhi, India.

He was recently area manager for South Asia for Scissent LLC, responsible for technical support, sales and marketing. Polygiene prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria at the source. Polygiene is a textile additive that uses low concentrations of silver salt for antimicrobial properties.


Downlite, a supplier of responsibly sourced down to outdoor and apparel markets, appointed Lisa Pruett as chief sales and marketing officer. Pruett reports to Josh Werthaiser, CEO of Downlite.

In this new position, Pruett will work with the Downlite leadership team to align the company’s sales and marketing functions to drive business growth. Activities reporting to Pruett include sales, customer care, product management, planning and analytics, and marketing.

Before joining Downlite, Pruett was executive vice president of sales at Easyway, a cut and sew, private label manufacturer of lifestyle furnishings.

Aurora Specialty Textiles

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group hired Erik Nees, former manager of sales at Alice Manufacturing, as sales account manager. In this role Nees will oversee industrial sales, which includes taping, bedding, medical and technical textiles industries.

Nees worked at Alice Manufacturing from 1992 until the end of 2018, when Alice Manufacturing, also known as Alice Mills, closed its doors. At Alice Manufacturing, Nees managed sales in the home furnishings, career apparel, industrial applications and medical sectors.

Based in Yorkville, Ill., Aurora has spent the last five years investing in a new state-of-the-art, North American manufacturing operation strategically equipped with next-generation bleaching, finishing, fabric skewing and coating technologies.


The Athlete’s Foot

Intersport International Corp. announced that Mateja Jesenek will join The Athlete’s Foot as global CEO. Based in Amsterdam, Jesenek succeeds Ingmar Kraak, who will leave the company at the end of April.

Jesenek, who will also join the Intersport International executive management team, was most recently general manager of Intersport Slovenia, the private-equity-owned company that runs around 150 corporate and franchised Intersport and The Athlete’s Foot stores in eight markets in South East Europe.


Asics North America appointed Kevin McHale as director of run specialty sales. In this role, McHale will manage the run specialty business and drive strategic brand initiatives with the key accounts across the channel.

McHale most recently held the position of Fleet Feet brand manager for New Balance, executing strategic plans for the run specialty channel. Asics also said it is unveiling a newly created Technical Representatives Program that will support McHale and his goal to elevate the run specialty category. Each of the reps will cover various regions nationwide, with their primary function to educate associates on key product launches, innovations and new technology, as well as Asics’ brand heritage and history.