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Shuffle Board: J.Crew Loses Lyons’ Replacement, Downlite Shakes Up Executive Leadership


Jackie Rice, Target’s chief risk and compliance officer, is exiting the company. Rice joined Target in 2013 and was one of several leaders hired amid the retailer’s data breach. Prior to Target, Rice held several leadership roles during his 17-year tenure at General Motors. Target doesn’t plan on hiring a successor to fill Rice’s role.


Tricia Patrick was appointed to Lululemon’s board of directors. Patrick currently serves as a managing director at Advent International, where she focuses on growth equity investments in the retail sector. Prior to joining Advent, Patrick was an investment professional with Bain Capital Private Equity for 12 years, and prior to that held leadership roles at the Private Equity Group of Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Philipp Plein Group

Switzerland-based label Philipp Plein Group named Peter Tannenbaum as the CEO and president of North and South America. Tannebaum brings more than 20 years of experience in the industry, most recently serving as the chief operating officer at Tod’s USA. His predecessor, Graziano de Boni, left the company in July.


SMCP Group, Maje’s parent company, hired Isabelle Guichot as its new CEO, effective Sept. 18. In her new role, Guichot will helm the womenswear label and serve as a member of SMCP Group’s executive committee. Guichot joins Maje from Balenciaga, where she served as the fashion house’s CEO and president since 2007. Her resume includes previous stints at Arpels, Lancel and Sergio Rossi. She will succeed Maje executive director Sylvie Colin, who is leaving to become the CEO of Kenzo.

DFS Group

DFS Group CEO and chairman Philippe Schaus is leaving in October to become the CEO of Moët Hennessy. Schaus will take over for Christophe Navarre, who is leaving Moët Hennessy after a 20-year career within LVMH’s Wine & Spirits Division. DFS Group’s shareholders, LVMH and DFS Group co-founder and shareholder Robert Miller, will name a new DFS CEO soon.

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Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch appointed Scott D. Lipesky as its SVP and chief financial officer, effective Oct. 2. In his new role, Lipesky will oversee corporate finance, risk management, tax and treasury for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and will serve on the retailer’s executive leadership team. Lipesky brings more than 20 years of industry experience, including nine years with Abercrombie & Fitch Co. He rejoins Abercrombie & Fitch Co. from American Signature Inc., a home furnishings company, where he recently served as CFO. His resume also includes previous leadership roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers and FTI Consulting.

Iconix Brand Group

Iconix Brand Group hired June K. DeFabio as its new EVP of the women’s and home divisions. DeFabio recently served as SVP of business development and licensing at Ralph Lauren, where she managed contract terms and negotiations for the company. Before her eight-year stint at Ralph Lauren, DeFabio held senior leadership roles at Macy’s and May Company.


Jeffrey C. Ackerman was appointed as Unifi’s new EVP and CFO. Ackerman brings more than 25 years of experience in financial management at leading global companies. His resume includes previous stints at Dade Behring, Sealy Corporation and The Fresh Market.


Daniel Shaw was appointed as Hunter’s new design director. Shaw joins Hunter from Christopher Raeburn, where he led the company’s design initiatives. He succeeds Niall Sloan, who recently left the company to join Escada.


Simon Belsham, Notonthehighstreet’s CEO, resigned from his role. Belsham served as the fashion website’s CEO for the past two years. Chairman Darren Shapland, chief commercial partner Ella d’Amato and CFO David Phillips will oversee the online marketplace until the company appoints Belsham’s successor.


Debenhams trading director Suzanne Harlow will depart from the company on Oct. 20. Harlow joined Debenhams in 1994 and served as the company’s trading director since 2009.

Once Harlow departs, Debenhams plans to create three new business units—fashion and home, beauty and beauty services and food and events—as part of its ongoing restructuring plan. Each business unit will be managed by a member of Debenham’s executive committee.

Debenham’s executive committee will consist of chief executive Sergio Bucher, CFO Matt Smith, retail director Ross Clemmow, marketing director Richard Cristofoli, international David Smith, technology and supply chain director Angela Morrison and HR director Sally Hyndman. Bucher will also oversee the fashion and home division until a new executive committee member is appointed by the company.

Sports Direct

Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell will remain in his role following the company’s recent re-election meeting. Hellawell pledged to step down if he didn’t secure the support of independent investors who voted against him last year. Just about 53 percent of independent investors backed his re-election, following Hellawell’s stance on Sports Direct’s use of zero-hours contracts.

Simon Bentley, Sports Directs senior independent director, was also re-elected.


J.Crew chief design officer Somsack Sikhounmuong is leaving the company after less than six months in the role. Sikhounmuong replaced longtime creative director Jenna Lyons, who departed from her role this spring. While serving as chief design officer, Sikhounmuong was responsible for the design of J.Crew’s Crewcuts childrenswear, men’s and women’s apparel lines. Sikhounmuong joined J.Crew in 2001 and spent his first 12 years designing accessories and apparel at J.Crew, became the design lead at Madewell from 2012 to 2015 and then returned to J.Crew as the head women’s designer. J.Crew has not named a successor yet.

Tailored Brands

Tailored Brands added two executives to drive its omnichannel innovation strategies.

Frank Hamlin was appointed as EVP and chief marketing officer. Hamlin recently served as chief marketing officer for GameStop Corp., where he managed the brand portfolio and global omnichannel marketing strategy for the company. Prior to GameStop Corp., Hamlin was EVP and general manager of marketing and e-commerce for Guitar Center, Inc.

Boris Sherman was appointed as EVP and chief technology officer. Sherman joins Tailored Brands from L Brands, where he served as the company’s SVP of omnichannel technology and was responsible for all customer-facing technologies for L Brands portfolio of retail brands. His resume includes previous stints at OfficeMax and United Airlines.

Destination Maternity

Destination Maternity appointed Allen Weinstein, an independent director of the company, as its interim CEO. Weinstein has served as a director of the Destination Maternity board since 2010. He is currently the executive chairman and a director of apparel and footwear retailer, Vila. His resume also includes previous stints at Body Central Corporation, The Cato Corporation and Catherine Stores Corporation.

CEO, president and board member Anthony M. Romano is also stepping down from his role. The board is currently searching for Romano’s replacement.

Independent director Barry Erdos was also elected to take over for Arnaud Ajdler as a non-executive board chair. Erdos has served as a Destination Maternity board member since 2010. He has held previous leadership roles at F.A.O. Schwartz, Inc. and Toys “R” Us.


Downlite is shaking up its executive management.

Downlite CEO James Lape is retiring from his post. Lape, who served as Downlite’s CEO for the past decade, will remain on the board and be succeeded by former Downlite CFO Josh Werthaiser.

Lape joined Downlite in 2007, following a 25-year stint with Levi Strauss. Under Lape’s leadership, Downlite achieved consecutive double-digit growth and furthered its positioning as a leading supplier of responsibly-sourced down.

Werthhaiser was the first Gen2 to enter the company. He joined Downlite in 2001 and held several leadership roles, most recently serving as the company’s CFO for the past nine years.

In addition to both appointments, Downlite announced a new organizational structure that will improve communication and customer service for its retail partners.

Marvin Werthaiser will remain an active owner and COO, focusing on sales and marketing strategies for the company. Dave Leuder will become chief revenue officer and will oversee all home and hospitality sales. Stefan Hunter will become VP of e-commerce and report to Leuder. Brian Parnes will become CIO/CMO and lead all It and marketing efforts. Jyl Davis will become VP of marketing & product management and report to Parnes. Chad Altbaier will remain the VP of outdoor and report to Werthhaiser. Frank Carella will become the VP of operations and report to Werthhaiser. Chuck Northcutt will remain the VP of QA and report to Carella. Zach Zellner will remain the VP of sourcing and report to Werthhaiser. Jim Donaghy will become the VP of finance and accounting and report to Werthhaiser. nLarry Werthhaiser and Bob Altbaier, owners of Downlite, will remain active on the company’s board of directors.


Indochino is changing up its executive leadership to as part of its core growth strategy.

CMO Peter Housley will transition to the role of chief revenue officer, former Abebooks executive Michael MacIntyre will rejoin the company as the VP of e-commerce and omnichannel strategy, director of people and culture Janet Jensen was promoted to the role of VP of experience, executive Lisa Craveiro was promoted to director of acquisition and IT strategy manager Natasha Moseley was promoted to director of project management.

BCBG Group

Marquee Brands named Diane Bekhor as the new SVP of BCBG Group. Bekhor joins BCBG Group from Jimmy Choo, where she served as SVP of general merchandise manager. Prior to her stint at Jimmy Choo, Bekhor was the head couture buyer at Bergdorf Goodman Evening and Bridal.

Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix appointed Erin Sumwalt as its new editorial styling director. Sumwalt previously served as the fashion director of StyleWatch Magazine and prior to that, held other leadership roles at InStyle.


Lyst promoted Jenny Cossons to the role of chief partnerships officer. Cossons joined Lyst in 2014, most recently serving as the company’s head of partnerships. Her resume also includes previous stints at Net-a-Porter and

Guy Laroche

Paris-based fashion house Guy Laroche named Richard René as its new artistic director. René will debut his first collection for the brand at Paris Fashion Week this month. His resume includes previous stints at Hermès and Jean Paul Gaultier. He succeeds Adan Andrascik, who is departing from the label.

John Lewis

Former M&S executive Laura Wade-Gery joined John Lewis’ board of directors. Wade-Gery brings several years of retail experience, most recently serving as executive director of multi-channel at M&S. Wade-Gery also held other senior leadership roles at other U.K. retailers, including Tesco.

Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear announced key executive changes this week.

Russ Hopcus will be named president of the prAna Brand. Since 2013, Hopcus has served as SVP of North America sales.

Joe Craig will succeed Hopcus and be promoted to SVP, North America sales. Craig joined Columbia in 1995 and represented the brand in nine states as the co-owner of CW Outdoors. In 2009, Craig rejoined Columbia and served as VP of U.S. apparel sales since 2013.

Succeeding Craig, Dean Rurak will be promoted to VP of U.S. apparel sales. Rurak joined the company in 1996 and held various leadership role, most recently serving as VP of apparel merchandising. EVP and Columbia brand president Joe Boyle, will manage merchandising for the company while a search is carried out to fill the global apparel merchandising role.

SVP and chief marketing officer Stu Redsun also exited the company. Boyle appointed interim leadership for Columbia’s marketing group while the company searches for a successor.