Personalities

Re-election of Ingeborg Neumann as President of the umbrella association of the German textile and fashion industry

Ingeborg Neumann has been elected for a term of further three years as President of the umbrella organisation of the German Textile and Fashion industry.

The members’ assembly of the umbrella organisation of the German Textil- und Modeindustrie has confirmed with acclamation Ingeborg Neumann as President. Also the Vice President and the presidium work also further together. After her election Ingeborg Neumann was underlining the unity of the umbrella organisation, but also the challenges resulting from the economic consequences resulting from the Corona pandemic.

Ingeborg Neumann

Ingeborg Neumann: «With this assembly, we are as umbrella organisation  textil+mode reinforced during one of the most difficult phases of the sector. This is important, because the coming events are asking to show strength. To achieve it, we need also a the society’s and political consense that we enjoy as medium-sized industry at the location of Germany. Our enterprises, mostly family managed, educate, create jobs and value in their rein, develop ever new products and procedures, producing masks and protective gear, thus essential textiles. I request the Federal Government to set a visible sign to confirm that the industrial medium-sized industry is of importance. For the time being we are affronting numerous unnecessary regulations and costs increasing energy prices, just the contrary of our request. We can manage the industrial transformation only together, the same is valid for the climatic goals.

Since Ingeborg Neumann is also Vice President at the umbrella organisation of the German Industry, textile entrepreneuse and foundress, is President of Textil+Mode since 2013. The umbrella organisation represents with ist 25 state and industry associations 1400 enterprises with 135000 employees. Besides of renown the world over fashion brands, the majority of members are medium sized textile firms. These manufacture besides clothing also home textiles, medical textiles, fabrics, yarns, but also technical textiles. In tecnical textiles. German firms are world leaders.

www.textil-mode.de

Liming Chen appointed to Supervisory Board of BASF SE

At the request of BASF SE, the Ludwigshafen local court (Amtsgericht) appointed Mr. Liming Chen (60), Chairman of IBM Greater China Group, to the Supervisory Board of BASF SE by way of a resolution dated October 8, 2020. The appointment became necessary after Dr. Alexander C. Karp, CEO Palantir Technologies Inc., resigned from the Supervisory Board at the end of July 2020 for professional reasons.

Liming Chen

Liming Chen is Chairman of IBM Greater China Group, based in Beijing, China, a position he has held since 2015. From 2008 to 2015, Chen served as President of BP China and Chairman of BP (China) Holding Company. Between 1994 and 2008, he held various leadership roles at the chemical company Condea (since 2001: Sasol) in Singapore and China. He graduated from Shihezi University in Xinjiang in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science. In 1989, he obtained his master’s degree in food science from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Liming Chen was born in China and is a Singaporean citizen. He brings to the Supervisory Board his expertise and experience in information technology and the chemical industry, and in leading and transforming business processes at international companies in Asia.

The Supervisory Board intends to propose Liming Chen, the Supervisory Board member now appointed by the court, to the next Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of BASF SE on April 29, 2021, for election for the Supervisory Board’s remaining term of office, which ends on conclusion of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in 2024.

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 117000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of EUR 59 billion in 2019. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S.

www.basf.com

L’Oréal Executive Committee Nominations – Barbara Lavernos is appointed President, Reseach, Innovation and Technologies, Antoine Vanlaeys is appointed President, Operations

Mrs.Barbara Lavernos, currently EVP, Chief Technologies & Operations Officer, will lead a new Departmentincluding Research, innovation and Technologies,as of February 1, 2021.

Barbara Lavernos

She will be succeeded in her current role by Mr.Antoine Vanlaeys.This appointmentresults from the wish expressedby Mr.Laurent Attal,EVP Research& Innovation, to retire at the beginning of February 2021, following a very rich career of over 34 years with the Group.

A dermatologist and MBA from INSEAD, LaurentAttaljoined L’Oréal in 1986 inthe Active Cosmetics Divisionwhich he led from1998,before  joining  the  Executive Committee  in  2002and  becoming  EVP  R&I  in  2010.

Under  his  leadership,  the L’Oréal  Research Division has  made  considerable  progress,  as  much  in promising  scientific  fields  (the  exposome, microbiome, regenerative cosmetics, etc.) asin the field of sustainable innovation, in particular through the development of Green Sciences.

To succeed him, Mr. Jean-Paul Agon has decided to appoint Mrs. Barbara Lavernos, who will continue leading Information Technologies (IT) and the major BeautyTech transformation project.

An engineer by training, Barbara Lavernos joined the Group in 1991 where she has pursued an extremely rich and diverse career. She became Director of the Rambouillet plant in 2000 and was appointed Global Chief Procurement Officer in 2004. She was entrusted with the General Management of Travel Retail for the Luxury Division in 2012, and for the entire Travel Retail department in 2013. In 2014, Jean-Paul Agon appointed her Chief OperationsOfficer and a member of the Group’s Executive Committee. She led an  extraordinary transformationand  modernisation, embarkingall  parts  of  the business on a profound digital transformationand redesignedthe supply chain to increase flexibility andagility to respondto channel shifts,in particular the explosion of e-commerce. At the end of 2018, Jean-Paul Agon also asked her to lead the “IT revolution”, with the ambition to become the world champion of “Beauty Tech”.

Commenting on these appointments, Jean-Paul declared: “I would like to thank Laurent Attal very warmly for his major contribution to the Group over the years. Laurent is a visionary who has a profound impact wherever he leads,  giving organisations a new strategic lease of life. I wish him much joy and happiness in his new life.To succeed him, I have chosen a woman of conviction, who has always addressed first the Group’s collective objectives, demonstrating strategic vision on the one hand and leading her team to perfect operational execution on the other. I have total confidence that Barbara Lavernoswill apply again her great leadership skills and extraordinary energy to this new challenge, which is crucial for the future of L’Oréal. I am convinced that the combination of R&I and Technology will enable us to invent the Beauty of the future: a Beauty which relies onR&I-at the historic heart of our model based on science and  innovation, now  allied  withnew  opportunities  offered  by  technology.  This  new Direction  of Research, Innovation  and  Technology  will  enable  us  to  conquer  new  territories,  increase brandinnovations  and  strengthen  our position as the world leader in beauty.”

Nomination of Antoine Vanlaeys as COO, member of the Executive Committee

Mr. Antoine  VANLAEYS, current Operations  Directorfor  the  Asia-Pacific  Zone,  will  succeed  Barbara  Lavernos  as  Chief Operations Officer. As such, he will join the Group’s Executive Committee.

Antoine  Vanlaeysjoined  the  Group  2002  and managed multipleresponsibilities  within  Operations.  In  2011,  he  was appointed Director of Operations for L’Oréal Luxe, where heoverhauled the operating model to support the growth of all brands. In 2016, he was appointed as DirectorofOperations for the Asia-Pacific region, which has since become the Group’s  leading  geographical  zone. He  orchestrated  with  his  teams  the  acceleration  of  e-commerce  in  the  region, particularly  in  China, where  online  sales  now  account for  more than  half  of  oursales.   He  also  strengthened  the  local production capacities and the supplier network, while being heavily involved in reinforcing the Group’s commitments in terms of Safety, Quality and Environment, notably through the emblematic project that enabled L’Oréal China to become Carbon Neutral in 2019.

According to Jean-Paul Agon, “Antoine is an extremely versatile manager, recognised by all for his strategic vision, his drive and his very strong ability to anticipate. He is experiencedin all areas of Operations, in different Zones and Divisions.He understands the challenges of our businessand will be able to providehisin-depth expertiseregardingSupply Chain, which is one of the key challenges for the Group in the future.He is a great leader, who is most legitimate and has my complete confidenceto lead the 20000 employees in Operations and support the Group’sconquests.I am very pleased to welcome him to the Executive Committee.

These nominations will be effective as of February1, 2021.

www.loreal.com

At Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, a New CEO Adapts to How We Shop Now

Stefan Larsson will be charged with guiding PVH out of the pandemic and into retailing’s ‘new normal’

By guest author Susan Kapner from Wall Street Journal

Caption courtesy by Wall Street Journal

PVH Corp. PVH, the owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, is switching chief executives in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Stefan Larsson, PVH’s president since June 2019, will succeed Manny Chirico in the top job on February 1, 2021, Mr. Chirico will remain chairman.

Mr. Larsson, 46 years old, is known for streamlining supply chains, having spent nearly two decades at Hennes & Mauritz AB’s fast-fashion retailer H&M and Gap Inc.’s Old Navy. Most recently, he was CEO of Ralph Lauren Corp. RL, where he put in place a plan to overhaul the fashion brand, but then left in a dispute with its founder.

Mr. Chirico, 63, who has been CEO since 2006, helped transform PVH from a maker of men’s clothing into a global fashion company with nearly USD 10 billion in annual sales. PVH, which also owns Van Heusen shirts and Warner’s bras, operates its own retail stores world-wide and sells through department stores as well as Amazon.com Inc.

Like other retailers, PVH was hurt by the temporary closure of stores during the height of the pandemic. While most of its stores have reopened, revenue was down 38 % in the six months to Aug. 2, 2020. Losses over that span exceeded USD 1.1 billion.

Mr. Larsson is charged with leading the company out of the pandemic and adapting to what he calls a “new normal” in retailing. The following are excerpts from a conversation with Messrs. Larsson and Chirico.

WSJ: It’s an unusual time to make this type of transition. Why do it now?

Mr. Chirico: This has been in the works for the last year and a half. As we are starting to recover from the pandemic, Stefan has been leading the charge. It’s a perfect time to move forward. It’s gone about as smoothly as these transitions go.

WSJ: Stefan, what is your vision for moving beyond the current crisis?

Mr. Larsson: It starts with recognizing that [Covid-19, the illness caused by the new virus,] accelerated underlying consumer trends. Things that would have taken four to five years normally, now are taking one year. Consumers are moving to e-commerce, casual clothing and sustainability. They won’t go back to shopping the way they did before the pandemic. We need to position the company for the new normal.

WSJ: What does that mean for PVH specifically?

Mr. Larsson: We’re focusing on our core strengths. Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are over 85 % of our revenue. We need to drive those brands by keeping them relevant with winning products. We are supercharging e-commerce. Last quarter, e-commerce sales grew 50% overall, including an 87% jump in sales on our own websites, compared with a year ago. And we’re focused on global growth. Last year, over half our revenue came from outside the U.S. We are seeing a strong recovery in Europe and China.

We also have to become leaner and more data-driven. We need to increase the speed of our supply chain and cut lead times to better match what we sell with consumer demand.

Mr. Chirico: Investments that we had planned to make for e-commerce, we are doing those faster. We’re opening warehouses and investing in systems. The winners will be the companies that have the financial wherewithal to make those investments during Covid.

WSJ: How are you approaching the coming holiday season?

Mr. Larsson: It will be a holiday season like no other. It will start earlier. We plan for there to be a big focus on e-commerce. We’ve got to navigate Covid restrictions in brick-and-mortar stores. We want to spread out the holiday season to enable more capacity in stores. That will be the biggest change.

WSJ: Your stores have reopened after temporarily shutting during the height of the pandemic. While foot traffic remains below year-ago levels, what are you seeing from the shoppers who visit your stores?

Mr. Larsson: Conversion rates and average order sizes are up. If shoppers make the effort to come to a store, they are buying.

WSJ: You get nearly 10% of your revenue from U.S. department stores. Many of them have been hard hit by the pandemic. Are department stores dead?

Mr. Chirico: We don’t subscribe to the view that department stores are dead. Specialty retailers are under even more pressure, given the bankruptcies of mall-based chains. If your brands are strong and you don’t oversupply department stores with too much inventory, you look just fine in those stores.

Mr. Larsson: We will go where the consumer is going. The biggest growth today is e-commerce and part of that is department-store websites. That is a good channel for us.

WSJ: You were one of the first brands to sell directly on Amazon. How did you arrive at that decision? And how has the relationship played out given that some other brands, like Nike Inc., have soured on Amazon.

Mr. Chirico: It was always an easy decision for me. We did a lot of analysis, but the key is, Amazon has the eyeballs. Consumers love shopping on Amazon. It didn’t make any sense not to be there. Core products like Calvin Klein underwear and socks sold unbelievably well. The question was whether consumers would get more comfortable buying fashion online. That is happening.

WSJ: What is your biggest takeaway from the pandemic’s impact on your business so far?

Mr. Chirico: The importance of flexibility. On the sourcing side, Stefan got us to push back decisions on quantities. We gave preliminary orders to the factories and followed up with more direction four weeks later. We also were able to cancel goods and redeploy into products that were selling.

Mr. Larsson: To work with speed. If anything good comes out of the Covid crisis, it’s to show us what is possible, and how fast we can react. How much you can do in a much shorter period of time. It’s something that will stay with us.

www.pvh.com

www.calvinklein.com 

www.tommyhilfiger.com

www.wsj.com

WTO and UNCTAD welcome Pamela Coke-Hamilton as new International Trade Centre Head

Pamela Coke-Hamilton has become the new executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), effective October 1, 2020.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Caption courtesy by WTO

The ITC, a joint cooperation agency of the WTO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), complements the government-led work of those two agencies by helping businesses in developing countries translate the negotiated multilateral trade agreements into concrete trade and economic opportunities.

The three agencies jointly carry out  regular technical assistance activities and training to help businesses enhance their export capacity and further integrate into the global economy. Both UNCTAD and the WTO are represented in the Joint Advisory Group supervising ITC’s work.

“Ms Coke-Hamilton’s appointment is very welcome. The WTO looks forward to furthering the joint collaboration with ITC and UNCTAD to raise awareness of export and import opportunities among businesses in the developing world. This will help make trade more inclusive and improve people’s lives across the world,” said WTO Deputy Director-General Yonov Frederick Agah.

Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of UNCTAD, said: “We at UNCTAD look forward to our continued partnership with ITC to help poorer countries reap the benefits of trade. This is particularly important now given the key role that trade can play in helping to support economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.”

Ms  Coke-Hamilton of Jamaica was appointed as the ITC’s eighth Executive Director on 27 July by the WTO’s former Director-General, Roberto Azevêdo, and UNCTAD’s Secretary-General, Mukhisa Kituyi. She succeeds Arancha González Laya of Spain and was the Director of UNCTAD’s Division on International Trade and Commodities. Ms Coke-Hamilton has extensive governmental and institutional experience in promoting trade for micro, small and medium enterprises in developing countries.

M&S hires Next digital trading boss for newly-created role

  • Marks & Spencer hires Next head of digital trading as head of optimisation and analytics
  • Gemma Lumsden will join the newly-created role on Monday
  • She will report into M&S online director Stephen Langford

By guest author Sahar Nazir from Retail Gazette

Marks & Spencer has reportedly poached Next head of digital trading Gemma Lumsden for the newly created role of head of optimisation and analytics.

Gemma Lumsden

She will report into Stephen Langford, who joined the business as director of M&S.com in May.

Lumsden will join M&S on Monday and will be responsible for leading the analytics, website optimisation and SEO teams as well as ensuring M&S.com offers “a cohesive and consistent” experience, Retail Week reported.

The embattled retailer plans to drive online growth with the new appointment.

Lumsden has served as Next’s head of digital trading since February 2019, having spent the previous three years at health giant Holland & Barrett in a similar role.

Prior to that, she spent almost five years at George at Big 4 supermarket Asda.

M&S’s ‘Never the Same Again’ strategy will also help support the company’s ecommerce performance.

The retailer is seeking to grow its online business, which is a “critical” part of the plan given that customers have shifted towards online shopping due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Daren Tang Assumes Functions as WIPO Director General

Daren Tang, a national of Singapore, officially assumed his functions as Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation on October 1, 2020, starting a six-year mandate at the helm of the Organisation.

Daren Tang

Prior to his appointment as WIPO Director General, Mr. Tang served as Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). Between 1997 and 2012, before joining IPOS, Mr. Tang held different legal positions within the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore.  Mr. Tang also presided as Chair of WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) from May 2017 until his appointment as Director General.

WIPO’s member states on May 8, 2020, appointed Mr. Tang by consensus as the Organization’s next Director General, following his nomination by the WIPO Coordination Committee in March 2020.

Following his appointment, Mr. Tang laid out his priorities and vision for the Organization going forward, saying that work will be channeled along three themes: inclusiveness, balance, and future-orientation.

“We must prioritise work towards building an inclusive global IP ecosystem that serves the interests of all countries and their stakeholders,” Mr. Tang said in his acceptance speech video video, while underlining that special attention must be given to developing countries and the least developed. 

“Second, we must work towards a balanced global IP ecosystem, ensuring that the institutions, companies, policy makers, users and all stakeholders in our global innovation community can participate in, and benefit from, this global IP ecosystem,” he noted.

“Third, WIPO must work towards a vibrant and forward-looking global IP ecosystem. It must help the world broaden its perspective of IP beyond its legal and technical aspects to its powerful role as a supporter of entrepreneurs and enterprises, catalyst for investments, driver of economic growth and a promoter of social vibrancy,” Mr. Tang added.

Director General Tang also committed to build a strong organisational foundation to ensure that WIPO remains a “dynamic, open and transparent Organisation with a diverse staff membership that better reflects a fair gender and geographical balance.”  This will be coupled with implementing high standards of governance and meticulous financial management, said Mr. Tang.

Mr. Tang, age 48, is a graduate of the National University of Singapore (Bachelor of Law, Honors) and the Georgetown University Law Center (Master of Laws, Distinction).

Mr. Tang is the fifth Director General of WIPO, following Mr. Gurry of Australia (2008-2020), Mr. Kamil Idris of Sudan (1997-2008), Mr. Arpad Bogsch of the United States (1973-1997) and Mr. Georg Bodenhausen of the Netherlands (1970-1973).

www.wipo.org

The Swissmem Board elected Martin Hirzel as new Swissmem President as of January 1, 2021

He succeeds Hans Hess.

At the board meeting of September 15, 2020 Martin Hirzel was unanimously elected to be the new President of Swissmem. “I am very happy, and I will do my atmost that Swissmem will be ready to fulfil the variou tasks for the MEM member s in an effective, effivient and beneficial manner.In addition I am very motivate to enhance the economic framework of the Swiss workplace and think tank.”

Martin Hirzel

After 10 years of service, the outgoing Swissmem President, Hans Hess laudes the choice: “With Martin Hirzel a forcerful personality will succeed me. He hjas spent this entire working life in the productive industry, and he was himself participating in the dual education system. He is capable thanks to his expierence in foreign countries to explain with credility the signijficance of the economic openess of Switzerland. I am convinced that he will represent the interest of our 1200 company members effective in the coming years ahead.” 

www.swissmem.ch

The EU Commission appoints a new Deputy Director-General for the migration and home affairs department

Johannes Luchner

On September 23, 2020, the European Commission has decided to appoint Mr Johannes Luchner as Deputy Director-General in charge of Directorate C in the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs. This appointment will take effect on October 1, 2020. Mr Luchner, an Austrian national, has held numerous positions in the European Commission in the fields of migration and home affairs, development, humanitarian aid, industry and enterprise, technical assistance as well as financial and administrative reform. He is currently Director for Strategy and General Affairs in DG HOME after having been Director of Emergency Management and rescEU in the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. Previously, he has worked as desk officer, manager and Deputy Head of Cabinet of Vice-President Kinnock. He began his career as a university lecturer, journalist and diplomat before joining the Commission in 1996.

www.ec.europa.eu