Personalities (updated Febr. 7, 2018 at 09.58 AM)

Seamless transition to new USTER sales and market leadership

Uster Technologies has announced plans for a phased evolution in key senior management positions. Progression to the next leadership generation will see Harold Hoke (vice-president, sales and service) and Walter Kiechl (the company’s chief officer in China), step back gradually, to foster a seamless transition over the next year.

A. Xu and W. Kiechi

After 37 successful years with USTER, Harold Hoke will be succeeded by Anson Xu and Andreas Tanner, under a new organizational structure. Anson Xu will head all the Chinese operations, while remaining as Head of Sales in China. Andreas Tanner will become Head of Sales for the rest of the world, as well as handling liaison with machinery manufacturers.

A. Tanner and H. Hoke

The new appointments will take effect from April 1, 2018. However, Harold Hoke will continue with USTER until at least March 2019, assisting the new appointees with the take-up. He will also remain a member of the company’s executive committee, as well as assuming full responsibility for other projects. On completion of these duties, Harold Hoke will enter his retirement.

Andreas Tanner is already well-known within USTER and the wider textile community. His experience, passion, determination and accountability, will assure strength, continuity and stability of the USTER business.

In making the changes, Uster Technologies has focused on advance planning, to ensure customers experience a smooth and efficient continuation of their relationship. Said CEO Thomas Nasiou: “We have taken the opportunity to have a fresh look at our organization, to position ourselves for the future. By initiating an early search for internal and external candidates, we are confident we have identified the right successors, as well as creating a streamlined transition plan.”

The Uster Group is the leading high-technology instrument manufacturer of products for quality measurement and certification for the textile industry. The Group provides testing and monitoring instruments, systems and services that allow optimization of quality through each individual stage of textile production. This includes raw textile fibers, such as cotton or wool, all staple fiber and filament yarns, as well as downstream services to the final finished fabric. The Uster Group provides benchmarks that are a basis for the trading of textile products at assured levels of quality across global markets. The Group’s aim is to forward know-how on quality, productivity and cost to the textile industry.

The Group is headquartered in Uster, Switzerland and operates through a worldwide Market Organization complemented by Technology Centres. It has sales and service subsidiaries in the major textile markets and Technology Centres in Uster (Switzerland), Knoxville (USA) and Suzhou (China).


lululemon athletica inc. CEO Laurent Potdevin resigns on grounds of misconduct

Three senior leaders to assume expanded roles reporting to Executive Chairman Glenn Murphy

Laurent Potdevin

lululemon athletica inc., the healthy lifestyle inspired athletic apparel company, today announced that Laurent Potdevin has resigned as CEO and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. lululemon expects all employees to exemplify the highest levels of integrity and respect for one another, and Potdevin fell short of these standards of conduct. The Board of Directors has immediately begun a search process for a proven and highly-experienced global Chief Executive Officer.

Glenn Murphy

“While this was a difficult and considered decision, the Board thanks Laurent for his work in strengthening the company and positioning it for the future,” said Glenn Murphy, Executive Chairman of the Board. “Culture is at the core of lululemon, and it is the responsibility of leaders to set the right tone in our organization. Protecting the organization’s culture is one of the Board’s most important duties.”

In his newly expanded role as Executive Chairman, Murphy will focus on achieving long-term, sustainable results for all stakeholders. Three of lululemon’s senior leaders are being elevated and will take on additional responsibilities, reporting to Mr. Murphy: Celeste Burgoyne, Executive Vice President, Americas, will oversee all channel and brand-facing aspects of the global business, including stores and e-commerce, as well as brand marketing; Stuart Haselden, Chief Operating Officer, will have responsibility for all operations related to finance, supply chain, people, and technology; and Sun Choe, Senior Vice President of Merchandising, will guide all aspects of product development, design, innovation, and merchandising.

Murphy added, “The Board is entirely confident that Celeste, Stuart and Sun – three leaders deeply tied to the recent momentum in the business – can continue to execute on lululemon’s growth strategy and drive global performance. Based upon their contributions to the recent expansion of the business, their history of collaboration with one another and their strong support across the lululemon organization, we believe this trio of leaders will take lululemon from strength to strength.”

Today, lululemon also reaffirmed its updated guidance provided on January 8, 2018, that reflects the ongoing momentum of the business. In addition, the company’s growth strategies remain on track to achieve USD 4 billion in revenue in 2020. The company’s continued success in the market it created is rooted in its strong connection to its guests and vertically integrated business model; embodiment of the active, mindful lifestyle; and category-disrupting product innovation that blends fashion and function.

Glenn Murphy, Executive Chairman of the company, and Chairman of the Board has taken an active role in the strategic direction of the company since joining the Board in 2017. He has more than 30 years of success leading retail organizations to grow and succeed. He is the founder and CEO of FIS Holdings, a consumer-focused investment firm deploying a combination of operating guidance and capital flexibility. From 2007 to 2014, Murphy served as Chairman and CEO at Gap Inc. during a period of global growth and improved financial performance. Previously, Mr. Murphy served as Chairman and CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation and held senior leadership roles at Loblaw Companies.

Celeste Burgoyne
Stuart Haselden

Celeste Burgoyne, Executive Vice President, Americas will continue to oversee all channel and customer-facing aspects of the North American business, including stores and e-commerce, and will now add oversight of the company’s international regions, as well as brand marketing. Ms. Burgoyne joined lululemon in 2006 to lead the U.S. expansion and has since held a series of roles of expanding responsibility, including Senior Vice President, Retail, North America where she was responsible for overseeing all Canadian and U.S. retail. Celeste started her career with Abercrombie & Fitch, where she held various leadership positions during her 10 years with the company.

Stuart Haselden, Chief Operating Officer, will continue to oversee all operations related to finance, supply chain, legal and technology, and will now add oversight of our strategic planning and people & culture functions. Stuart joined lululemon as Chief Financial Officer in 2015. Prior to joining lululemon, his career spans 15 years of executive leadership at global apparel retailers, including Saks Incorporated and J. Crew Group, Inc., where he most recently served as Chief Financial Officer.

Sun Choe

Sun Choe, Senior Vice President of Merchandising, will continue to oversee merchandising and will now add all aspects of product design, innovation and development to her portfolio. She joined the company in 2016 as Chief Global Product Merchant with extensive experience in senior leadership roles at well-known brands, including Madewell, West Elm and Urban Outfitters.

lululemon athletica inc. is a healthy lifestyle inspired athletic apparel company for yoga, running, training, and most other sweaty pursuits, with products that create transformational experiences for people to live happy, healthy, fun lives. Setting the bar in technical fabrics and functional designs, lululemon works with yogis and athletes in local communities for continuous research and product feedback.




Saks Owner Hudson’s Bay appoints CVS Executive Helena Foulkes as CEO

Helena Foulkes

Hudson’s Bay Co., the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, named CVS Health Corp. executive Helena Foulkes its first female chief executive officer as the department-store operator struggles with declining traffic and a restless activist investor

Foulkes — ranked among the most influential women in business by Fortune magazine — will take the helm on Feb. 19 after serving as executive vice president of CVS Health and president of its pharmacy unit. She’ll be tasked with improving both physical and online sales, Toronto-based Hudson’s Bay said Monday.

“Helena is a transformational leader who will invigorate the business with a new perspective as we position HBC for the future,” Chairman Richard Baker said in a statement. Foulkes replaces Baker, who has been serving as interim CEO since Jerry Storch stepped down last year.

The retailer agreed in October to sell its iconic Lord & Taylor building in Manhattan and unload a minority share to a private equity firm to reduce debt. With pessimism on the department-store industry weighing on Hudson’s Bay shares, activist Land & Buildings Investment Management has pressed for a go-private transaction, arguing the company is undervalued and should look for ways to unlock value.

Quarterly Loss

In December Hudson’s Bay reported a larger-than-expected third-quarter loss as an operations overhaul that included 2000 job cuts undermined its bid to boost e-commerce. Shares fell as much as 1.9 percent to CAD 10.15 on February 6, 2018. They’ve lost more than a third of their value in the past two years.

While Foulkes oversaw operations at almost 9700 stores in her most recent role at CVS, she has little experience in apparel. Her departure comes as CVS is trying to obtain regulatory approval for its USD 67.5 billion deal to buy insurer Aetna Inc. If the deal goes through, CVS is expected to transform its stores into health hubs where consumers can get care, such as vision and hearing services, as well as the prescription drugs and retail items.

Foulkes, who led a push to stop selling tobacco at CVS, will now head a network of more than 480 stores in North America and Europe. Hudson’s Bay has sought to boost growth in part by partnering with Walmart Inc. and with office-sharing firm WeWork Cos.