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Retail appointments of the week

New appointments at Myer, Adidas, Levi and Domino’s
New appointments at Myer, Adidas, Levi and Domino’s (Source: Reuters )

From Puma to Adidas for chief executive Bjorn Gulden

Adidas is set to appoint Puma’s Bjorn Gulden as its new chief executive, replacing outgoing chief executive Kasper Rorsted.

In response, Puma announced that Arne Freundt, the company’s chief commercial officer, will immediately take over as chief executive.

Gulden – who worked as senior vice president of apparel and accessories for Adidas in the 1990s – has been chief executive of Puma since 2013.

Chairman of the Adidas supervisory board Thomas Rabe said he brings almost 30 years of experience in the sporting goods and footwear industry.

“He knows the industry extremely well and draws on a rich network of sport and retail. [As] CEO of Puma, he reinvigorated the brand and led the company to record results,” Rabe said in a statement.

In addition to his work at Adidas and Puma, Gulden has had senior positions at Pandora, as well as shoe retailer Deichmann, and clothing and sports equipment company, Helly Hansen. 

He will begin in the position on January 1.

Chief executive jumps from Kohl’s to Levi

Michelle Gass is stepping down as chief executive of Kohl’s next month, and is set to join Levi Strauss & Co (LS & Co) as its new president.

She will depart on 2 December, and be replaced by Tom Kingsbury –  a director nominated by hedge funds Macellum Advisors and Ancora Holdings – who will serve as acting CEO until a replacement is named.

Gass led the company through a significant reinvention of over 1100 Kohl’s store, and oversaw its partnership with Sephora, which has expanded to 600 Sephora at Kohl’s shops. She will join LS & Co a month after leaving Kohl’s, and will report to group president and chief executive Chip Bergh.

The board has put in motion a succession plan for Gass to succeed Bergh as LS & Co’s CEO within the next 18 months. 

 “One of my biggest legacies at LS&Co will be my successor, passing the baton to someone who will take the company to the next level,” said Bergh. 

LS & Co chairman Bob Ecket praised Gass’s deep retail and omnichannel experience.

“Her track record of building brands and meaningful innovation is a perfect fit for the skills needed to lead this company for the long term and create significant value for our stakeholders,” he said.

Domino’s make key appointments

Domino’s has appointed Kellie-Anne Drever as its new head of franchise operations, and Greg Steenson as its new head of corporate operations.

Drever, who started working for Domino’s as a pizza maker in Queensland in 1995, will lead more than 700 stores across the country as its head of franchise operations. She has worked in the head office on the learning and development team, and became Queensland market manager in 2018.

Meanwhile, Steenson, who started working at Domino’s as a delivery driver over 20 years ago, will lead the company-owned stores.

He was the regional manager and market manager for Domino’s corporate stores, and has owned and operated six Domino’s stores as a franchisee, as per Domino’s investors website. 

Drever and Steenson have both been awarded the Domino’s Leadership Eagle award in the past.

Lew-backed McCartney appointed to Myer board

Terry McCartney has been appointed a non-executive director at Myer following a long campaign by Solomon Lew.

Myer’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday saw McCartney, who is also a non-executive director of Lew’s Premier Investments, receive more than 60 per cent of shareholder’s votes.

It followed a campaign from Lew urging shareholders to appoint McCartney, as well as proxy firms advising against the appointment. 

The board did not make a recommendation for, or against the appointment, but said at the AGM that actual or perceived conflicts of interests could be managed.

Chair and director JoAnne Stephenson, and non-executive director Jacquie Naylor were also re-appointed.

Following his appointment, McCartney said that he has more than 40 years of experience working across the full spectrum of retailing.

“I’m committed to working in a collaborative and cohesive manner with the Myer board, and will take my fiduciary duties very seriously,” he said. 

He added that Myer’s chief executive John King and the team have brought Myer back to life.

“I’m [coming in] because I want to listen to the team, and add my value to that plan going forward,” he said.

“I see this as a business that’s found its legs again.”

Myer’s group online sales grew 34 per cent, to $722.8 million, in FY22, while its net profit rose by over 100 per cent compared to the last financial year.

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