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Shuffle Board: Torrid Promotes Liz Muñoz to CEO, J.C. Penney CFO Davis Resigns



Specialty retailer Torrid Inc. promoted Liz Muñoz to CEO from president.

Prior to joining Torrid in 2010 and being promoted to president of the company in January, Muñoz was president of Lucky Brand Jeans. Torrid sells apparel, intimates and accessories for women sizes 10 to 30. The company is based on the notion of “first at fit” in the plus size fashion retail market.

Purchased by Sycamore Partners in 2013, Torrid has annual sales of $1 billion. It operates 579 stores and employs 6800 people.

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney Company Inc. announced that Jeffrey Davis has informed the company that he is resigning from his position as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective Oct. 1 to pursue another opportunity. Jerry Murray, senior vice president of finance, will assume the position of interim chief financial officer, reporting directly to the Office of the CEO.

Murray joined the company in February 2016 after serving as chief financial officer for Valassis, a multimedia marketing firm. As interim CFO, he will report into the Office of the CEO members Therace Risch, chief information and digital officer, and Mike Robbins, executive vice president of private brands and supply chain. The company will commence a formal search for Davis’ successor, reviewing both internal and external candidates.



Unifi Inc. appointed Helen M. Sahi as vice president for global corporate sustainability for the Greensboro, N.C.-based fiber and yarn manufacturer.

In her role, Sahi will lead, develop and drive the sustainability strategy and execution for Unifi, and will integrate sustainability into the everyday fabric of the company’s business.  Helen’s responsibilities include ensuring that Unifi’s sustainability strategy and practices are aligned with the company’s business objectives, and that all sustainability efforts are evaluated through a robust set of metrics.

In her career, she has helped companies such as Avery Dennison Corp.and Bank of America set and achieve their sustainability strategies and goals. She has also built effective partnerships with external organizations and NGOs to support and advance their sustainability efforts.

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Unifi is one of the largest manufacturers of synthetic and recycled performance fibers. The company’s Profiber technologies offer increased performance, comfort and style advantages. Through the Repreve branded recycled performance fibers, Unifi has transformed more than 12 billion plastic bottles into recycled fiber for new apparel, footwear, home goods and other consumer products.



Descente, the Japanese premium athletic apparel brand, has establishing a wholly-owned North American subsidiary, Descente Athletic Americas Inc. and hired Fritz Taylor as its president.

The company is located in Atlanta and will launch for fall featuring the performance apparel for all facets of the modern lifestyle for which it is known globally. The collections, which include the brand’s signature ALLTERRAIN line, will center on Descente’s commitment to “Design That Moves” through elevated styles that merge fashion and function with versatility.

Taylor is a 30-year industry veteran with executive stints at Under Armour, Nike, Brooks and Mizuno. Descente Athletic Americas will have a dedicated U.S. digital presence, including a direct-to-consumer e-commerce site set to launch this fall, plus a limited branded brick-and-mortar rollout to follow in key cities in fall 2019. DAA is also working to secure wholesale distribution through a highly selective group of boutiques and independent stores in target markets, and has partnered with Shine United and Linda Gaunt Communications on strategic positioning and brand building.

Descente Ltd. currently distributes product in North America via Descente Mountain Americas, which will continue to operate as a separate entity, focusing on distribution to specialty snow shops.

Under Armour

Under Armour Inc. announced two new additions to its senior management team with the appointments of Alessandro de Pestel as chief marketing officer and Ann Funai as senior vice president of engineering. The company said these hires will strengthen Under Armour’s ability to drive growth through the implementation of strategic marketing activities and digital touchpoints to build brand equity and increase global market share.

As a member of the company’s executive team and a direct report to president and chief operating officer Patrik Frisk, De Pestel will lead all aspects of the company’s global brand marketing strategy. He will be based at the company’s global headquarters in Baltimore.

De Pestel most recently served as executive vice president of marketing, communications and consumer insights for Tommy Hilfilger Global/PVH Europe. Prior to that, he was international communications director for Christian Dior Parfums in France and vice president of global marketing for Omega Watches in Switzerland.

As a senior leader, Funai will be responsible for the engineering function across Under Armour’s digital ecosystem, including its fitness applications and global e-commerce business. She will lead the engineering strategy that supports the roadmap, platform and product feature set development. Based in Austin, Tex., she will report to chief digital officer Paul Fipps.

Funai joins Under Armour following her role as chief technology officer at PeopleAdmin, a SaaS company focused on talent management for the education industry. Prior to that, Funai was with IBM, where she worked across many different business units and technical disciplines.