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C-Suite Moves: March update

Welcome to C-Suite Moves, Chain Store Age’s monthly roundup of the top C-suite moves across the retail industry.

Here are the major leadership changes that occurred during March, starting with the most recent. (All changes have already taken effect unless otherwise noted. )

  • Vince CEO Out Jack Schwefel resigned as CEO of luxury apparel retailer Vince. The board appointed David (“Dave”) Stefko, current director and former CFO of the brand, as interim chief and has started the search for a permanent chief. This is Stefko’s second stint as interim leader of Vince. 
  • Starbucks Appoints First-Ever CEO of North America Starbucks Coffee Company named Michael Conway to the newly created role of CEO of North America. Conway, who joined Starbucks in 2013, is currently serving as group president, international and channel development. 
  • David Yurman Makes Two C-Suite Appointments Chris Clipper joined luxury jewelry brand David Yurman as CFO. He previously held leadership roles as CFO of Ralph Lauren North America, Nike North America, Warner Media. Robert Lepere also joined the brand as chief people officer. Most recently, he served as chief people officer at Casper and Fullbeauty Brands
  • Smashburger Names Its First Female CEO Smashburger appointed Starbucks veteran Denise Nelsen as CEO. Prior to joining Smashburger, Nelson spent some 25 years with Starbucks, including serving as the senior VP of U.S. operations. She is the fast-casual burger chain’s first female chief executive.
  •  Papa John’s CEO Departing for Shake Shack Papa Johns International CEO Rob Lynch was named CEO of Shake Shack, effective May 20. He will succeed CEO Randy Garutti, who will be retiring and transitioning to an advisor role through the end of this year.   In related news, Ravi Thanawala, currently CFO of Papa Johns, was named interim chief executive. Prior to joining Papa Johns in 2023, Thanawala served as CFO of Nike North America.
  • PetSmart Exec Joins C-Suite at Guitar Center Guitar Center named Kristin Shane as executive VP, chief merchandising and marketing officer. Shane joins the company from PetSmart, where she spent nearly five years, most recently as senior VP and chief merchandising officer.
  • Fossil Group CEO Out Amid Strategic Review Kosta N. Kartsotis stepped down as CEO of struggling watchmaker Fossil Group after nearly 25 years in the role.  He will remain with the company in a transitional role until September 2024, and provide consulting services until September 2025. Jeffrey N. Boyer, executive VP and COO, is serving as interim chief while Fossil searches for a permanent CEO.
  • Leadership Shakeup at Under Armour Kevin Plank, founder, executive board chair and controlling shareholder of Under Armour, returns as president and chief executive, effective April 1, 2024. He replaces Stephanie Linnartz who took the reins of the company in February 2023 after more than 25 years at Marriott
  • Petco CEO Departs Ron Coughlin stepped down as Petco's chief executive, chairman and board member after a disappointing fourth quarter. The retailer named board member and former longtime Best Buy executive R. Michael Mohan to serve as interim CEO. Coughlin headed up Petco since since June 2018.
  • Lidl US Adds to C-Suite Team Discount grocer Lidl appointed Miguel Paradela executive VP of purchasing and chief commercial officer, responsible for setting the long-term strategy for the buying and merchandising function at Lidl US. The company also named Frank Kerr as  its first-ever chief customer officer.
  • Walmart Canada Appoints Two C-Suite Officers Walmart Canada promoted John Bayliss to COO, leading an expanded position that includes store operations, supply chain, format and real estate development. Most recently, he held the role of chief administration officer. Also, Laurent Duray has been promoted to the role of chief growth officer. The expanded position will focus on alternate revenue streams, such as retail media and financial services, digital enablement, e-commerce and customer understanding. Duray previously served as Walmart Canada's chief e-commerce officer.
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