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04/01/2021

J. Crew bolsters top management; expands board

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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J. Crew sign

J.Crew Group is building out its senior leadership team, mostly with in-house promotions from its Madewell brand, “to advance its long-term strategic growth plan.”

The one non-Madewell hire was Jose Davila, who was named chief people officer. He most recently served as VP of human resources for Levi Strauss & Co., where he oversaw North and South America. Previously, Davila spent more than ten years at Gap Inc., where he held a series of leadership positions.

The other appointments are below:
• Danielle Schmelkin was named chief information officer. She most recently served as CIO of Madewell brand. Prior to joining the company in 2019, she spent eight years at Tapestry, including serving as senior VP, global head of IT for Coach.

• Derek Yarbrough was named chief marketing office. He spent the previous eight years at Madewell where he played increasingly important roles, and most recently served as the brand's CMO.

• Liz Hershfield was named senior VP sustainability, a newly created role. She will continue to oversee sourcing for Madewell. Prior to joining J. Crew in 2019, Hershfield was head of product development, production and sustainability for Walmart eCommerce. She also spent nine years as chief supply chain officer for Bonobos, which Walmart acquired in 2017. 

"I believe strong and relevant brands are customer-centric, community-minded, purpose-driven and powered through innovation, technology and a deeply collaborative culture," said Libby Wadle, who took the reins as CEO in November after leading Madewell for seven years. "Jose, Danielle, Derek and Liz are proven leaders in their respective fields, share our core values, and bring significant expertise as well as a passion for our brands that will drive our business forward."

The retailer also expanded its board of directors to six members from three. The board now includes Frits Dirk van Paasschen, former executive at The Coors Brewing Company, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and Nike. He currently serves on the boards of Williams-Sonoma Inc. and Royal DSM.

Anna Fieler also joined the board. She founded and runs Madison Park Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in technology companies and was a former chief marketing officer of PopSugar. Fieler currently sits on the boards of Shake Shack Inc. and Quinstreet Inc.

The third new member of J. Crew’s board is Nadia Rawlinson, who currently serves as the chief people officer at Slack.