Nordstrom names Kumar Srinivasan Chief Technology Officer

Nordstrom, Inc. announced that Kumar Srinivasan has joined the company as CTO Chief Technology Officer

Kumar SrinivasanSrinivasan’s agile development practices, cloud expertise and experience developing highly innovative customer focused outcomes will play an important role in shaping the technology agenda across Nordstrom. Srinivasan will help lead the next phase of innovation and growth focused on identifying and developing opportunities that deliver a competitive advantage and bottom-line returns.

In this new role, Srinivasan will focus on identifying opportunities to reduce complexity while optimizing engineering and software productivity and effectiveness across four Nordstrom Technology teams that support the company’s Service & Experience, Loyalty & Marketing, Engineering and Supply Chain initiatives.

“We’re bringing Kumar to Nordstrom at an important time as we are positioning our Technology organization to better support our long-term growth plans,” said Dan Little, chief information officer, Nordstrom, Inc. “Kumar’s extensive experience in strategy, product development and delivering technology solutions that support a great user experience, as well as his passion for the customer, will be invaluable.”

Srinivasan brings more than 18 years of technology and product management experience to Nordstrom. He was previously co-founder and CEO of Evocalize; chief product & technology officer for Bazaarvoice; and vice president, general manager at Amazon, where he led Amazon Payments Merchant Solutions.

Nordstrom, Inc. is a leading fashion specialty retailer based in the U.S. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 326 stores in 39 states, including 121 full-line stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico; 197 Nordstrom Rack stores; two Jeffrey boutiques; and one clearance store. Additionally, customers are served online through, and HauteLook. The company also owns Trunk Club, a personalized clothing service serving customers online at and its five clubhouses.

Coats appoints Interim Head of Finance

Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market, has appointed Andrew Wright as Interim Head of Finance.  Andrew will be responsible for overseeing the activities of Group Finance and FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis)

CoatsAndrew was most recently Director, Group Reporting at Gates Worldwide (formerly Tomkins plc) a UK/US listed FTSE 100 global engineering and manufacturing group.  Prior he held a series of senior Finance positions within Tomkins plc Group. 

Andrew’s appointment follows the departure of Richard Howes, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on Wednesday 6 April.  A search has been initiated for the role of CFO and Andrew will remain in post until a suitable successor has been appointed. 

Andrew has over 20 years’ experience of technical leadership and managing process excellence in group finance teams through periods of significant corporate activity.  His experience spans both UK and US listings as well as private equity owned organisations.  He also has extensive cross functional knowledge to translate strategic initiatives into efficient and measurable solutions.

Andrew started his career at Ernst and Young in the audit division where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant before joining Tomkins Group plc.  He has detailed knowledge of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), USGAAP (US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and UKGAAP (UK Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and holds a first class honours in Mathematics from the University of Warwick.

Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market. At home in more than 60 countries, Coats employs 19000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2015 were USD 1.5 billion.

Swiss Syngenta loses head of Human Resources

Syngenta announced today that Caroline Luscombe, Head Human Resources, will be leaving at the end of June to take up a similar role in anotherCaroline Luscombe will leave Syngenta company. Caroline joined Syngenta in 2010 from GE Capital and became a member of the Syngenta Executive Committee in 2012

John Ramsay, Syngenta CEO, said: “I should like to thank Caroline for her strong leadership of the Human Resources function and for her many contributions to the Company as a whole over the last six years. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish her every success in her new role.”

A successor to Caroline will be announced in due course.

Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities.

Mizuno USA names new VP of Brand Management and Marketing

Mizuno USA, a global leader in sports footwear, apparel and equipment, has promoted Mark M. O’Brien from Vice President of Brand Management & Marketing to a newly created position of Chief Operating Officer. In this new role, O’Brien will lead business strategy for Mizuno USA, including oversight of Brand, Product and Sales Management. O’Brien will continue to report directly to Bob Puccini, President of Mizuno USA, Inc. and Director of Mizuno Corporation

-Mark-OBrien“Since joining Mizuno in June of 2015, Mark has proven his leadership and business acumen, as a result of his 20 years of experience in both classical and entrepreneurial settings,” said Puccini. “Mark’s insight and skill in navigating the complexities of the sporting goods marketplace will lead us to effectively compete in a marketing intensive and increasingly competitive consumer products environment. Moreover, Mark’s deeply rooted love of the Mizuno brand, combined with his heart, spirit and challenger mentality, made him the perfect match for this challenge and new position.”

To meet the needs as a multi category specialty brand, the new leadership structure aligns brand, product and sales groups under central leadership led by O’Brien, and introduces a new VP of Product & Sales for each specialty division, all reporting into the Chief Operating Officer.

“Mizuno is unwavering in its commitment to sports and the athletes we serve, as evidenced by its 110 year history,” said O’Brien. “It is truly an honour to be entrusted to build upon this legacy to drive the brand and business forward. As a challenger brand in a competitive market, it is critical the business responds and reacts quickly to consumer and customer needs. Mizuno is engrained in the heart of millions of athletes across the U.S. and abroad, and I am excited to lead the team and organization to reach and endear millions more.”

Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes baseball, golf, softball, running, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America.  Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia.

Saint Laurent names new creative director

Saint Laurent names new creative director

The fashion world’s game of musical chairs continues. Anthony Vaccarello, most recently the creative director of Versus Versace — the younger, funkier sibling brand of Versace and, of late, an incubator of up-and-coming designers — has been named the new creative director of Yves Saint Laurent.

Vaccarello, a 36-year-old Italian-Belgian designer, succeeds Hedi Slimane, whose long-rumored departure from Yves Saint Laurent, owned by theAnthony Vaccarello Paris-based group Kering, was made official on April 1, 2016.

Announcing the choice on April 5, 2016, Francesca Bellettini, the president and chief executive of Yves Saint Laurent, said of Vaccarello, “His modern, pure aesthetic is the perfect fit for the maison.”

Vaccarello, who had been the creative director of Versus Versace for a little over a year, announced his departure a few hours before the news about Yves Saint Laurent was made official. “While I’m sad to see him leave the Versace family, I wish Anthony Vaccarello tremendous success with his next chapter,” Donatella Versace, vice president of the Versace Group, said in a statement.

Vaccarello founded his own brand, in 2009, but will suspend that line to “devote himself fully to Saint Laurent,” according to a spokesman for the brand. He will be responsible for women’s wear, men’s wear, the couture line revived by Mr. Slimane and the image of the brand.

Hedi SlimaneHis name first surfaced as a possible replacement for Hedi Slimane in January. He deflected the gossip as “a rumor” in March at his last show during Paris Fashion Week, which was marked by a combination of body-baring asymmetric lacing and leather that reflected his penchant for 1980s rock ’n’ roll, and that may connect his aesthetic to that of Mr. Slimane’s Saint Laurent line. (Ms. Versace once characterized Mr. Vaccarello’s signature look as “cool and sexy.”)

Certainly, he is not expected to carry out another wholesale reinvention of the house in the manner of Hedi Slimane, who redesigned not only the stores but also the furniture in the stores; photographed the ad campaigns himself; and dropped the “Yves” from the name of the ready-to-wear line. Unlike Slimane, who based himself in Los Angeles, Vaccarello is based in Paris.

Vaccarello will present his first collection for Yves Saint Laurent in October, during the spring 2017 shows of Paris Fashion Week.

Though most of the attention will now be on Vaccarello’s plans for the Saint Laurent label, his ascension further bolsters Ms. Versace’s position as something of a talent spotter and Versus as a potent launching pad for other designers.

Ms. Versace signed the British designer Jonathan Anderson for Versus in 2013 — just months before he became creative director of the Spanish brand Loewe, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which also took a minority stake in his J. W. Anderson brand.

Before Mr. Anderson, Christopher Kane was the creative director of Versus from 2009 to 2012, and Kering bought a majority stake in his brand.

“In each instance, their time on Versus Versace led to them making a huge advancement in their design career,” Ms. Versace said in her statement, suggesting that she seemed to be embracing with gusto her role as a nurturer of the next generation.

“I appreciated the chance to work with each of these three designers, and I enjoyed seeing what they brought to a brand I truly love,” she said. “I’m proud that Versus can be such a remarkable global platform for emerging design talent.”

Versus has proved not just a petri dish for designers, but one for approaches as well. Under Vaccarello, Versus embraced the see-now/sell-now model that is gaining traction in the fashion world, and last September made its clothes available for sale as soon as they were shown on the runway. The decision contributed to the Versace Group’s 17.5 % increase in revenue in 2015.

Announcing the annual results last month, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, Versace Group’s chief executive, singled Vaccarello’s Versus Versace, noting retail sales more than doubled compared with 2014, while wholesale revenue was up 21.4%.

All of which raises the stakes for whoever replaces Mr. Vaccarello at Versus, as well as for Ms. Versace to continue her winning streak. Ms. Versace will say only that she will be “surprising everybody” with the announcement.

Reitmans (Canada) Limited welcomes new executives

Reitmans (Canada) Limited (RCL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Levitt to the new position of Chief Marketing Officer for RCL and Michael Strachan to the position of President for the Reitmans banner

Jonathan Levitt has been working in the marketing and web industry for over 25 years.  Through data-driven initiatives, he has helped leading globaJonathan Levittl players, such as Wal-Mart, American Eagle, William Sonoma and Google understand their audience and maximize their use of technology to, in turn, offer better product and customer experiences.  Known in the industry for his strong sense of innovation, Mr. Levitt brings to RCL a wealth of expertise in digital marketing, customer insights, analytics and voice of customer. 

“In today’s omni channel reality, it is of the utmost importance to gain a better understanding of our customers’ journey and how we at RCL can improve our customers’ experience through various processes and use of data”, says Walter Lamothe, President, Retail and COO, Reitmans (Canada) Limited. “Jonathan will support the company’s commercial growth by making sure RCL has the right tools and the right strategies at the right time on the platforms our customers choose to interact with us.”

Michael Strachan has over 25 years of fashion retail experience, and he has helpedMichael Strachan leading retailers transform their businesses. Strachan brings to RCL a solid understanding of all areas of the business including merchandising, marketing, operations and real estate to name a few.  Prior to joining RCL, he held senior executive roles at Mark’s Work Warehouse as well as managing his own consulting business.

Walter Lamothe added:  “Michael’s global understanding of the retail marketplace coupled with his ability to grow companies through change will be valuable assets as he champions the ongoing transformation of the Reitmans business.”

Through their respective expertise, Levitt and Strachan will contribute to RCL’s ongoing transformation and foster an environment where traditional brick and mortar store environments blend in with omni channel initiatives to provide Reitmans (Canada) Limited customers a seamless shopping experience.  

Reitmans (Canada) Limited is a leading specialty fashion retailer, operating over 800 stores across Canada through its banners, Reitmans, Addition Elle, Penningtons, RW&CO., Thyme Maternity, Hyba and Smart Set.  Reitmans (Canada) Limited is a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Exchange (TSX:  RET, RET-A).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.