Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

US retailing gets hazardous to job prospects

Apart from Gap, the other major US apparel retailers saw a raft of involuntary senior departures in early 2007

Wal-Mart names new procurement chief. Lawrence Jackson, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart global procurement, announced his resignation on January 8. The announcement coincided with the departure of merchandising chief Doug Degn , and treasurer Jay Fitzsimmons.
Jackson, who joined Wal-Mart in 2004 from Dollar General as head of human resources, was appointed head of procurement in April 2006. That appointment was met with some industry confusion, as the company said he would “"head up purchasing offices in 28 countries as well as ethical standards teams responsible for oversight of factories and labour laws.” with no mention of improved costs or efficiencies.
Jeff Macho, who has been vice president and managing director of apparel merchandising in the global procurement area since joining Wal-Mart in 2005, and is currently based in Shenzhen, will replace him.
Macho is a former department-store merchant who worked as the Hong Kong-based vice president and managing director for the international buying offices of Sears prior to joining Wal-Mart two years ago and was responsible for buying and quality assurance offices in 21 different locations. Earlier in his career, he served as a buyer, divisional merchandise manager and divisional vice president at divisions of Federated Department Stores May Department Stores and Dayton Hudson. He will report to John Menzer, vice chairman of Wal-Mart. Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart, said “Jeff understands what the customer wants, what the customer needs and what we as a company need to do to deliver that.”
Which sounds like greater concentration on costs, efficiency and quality control.

JC Penney sacks COO. Catherine West Department store firm JC Penney said it has sacked its COO Catherine West, giving no reason for the termination. However, industry rumours have suggested West was simply not suited to the firm. Her firing of West came just six months after she took on the position after working at Capital One Financial Corp as president of its US card business. The areas formerly reporting to West will again report to JC Penney’s chairman and CEO Myron Ullman

Eddie Bauer president out. Eddie Bauer Holdings has announced the resignation of its president, CEO and board member, Fabian Mansson. Board member Howard Gross has been named interim CEO of the retailer while it conducts a search for a permanent CEO.
Mansson’s resignation follows the failure of a proposal for acquisition of Edie Bauer by Sun Capital Partner and Golden Gate Capital to gain a majority approval from Bauer shareholders on February 8.
“Eddie Bauer has probably withstood more problems, redirections, re-strategies, re-management and rearrangements than any other direct marketing company, but it remains a quality property,” said Don Libey, president of consultancy Libey Inc., Des Moines, IA, at the time of the original Sun Capital/Golden Gate announcement.

Charming Shoppes Divisional president replaced. Charming Shoppes Inc., a retailer specializing in women's plus-size apparel, announced on February 6 that Steven Lightman, president of its Crosstown Traders. Subsidiary had left. The company did not provide a reason. Joseph Baron, executive vice president and COO, will take charge of the subsidiary, which is a direct marketer of women's apparel and accessories, on an interim basis until a permanent replacement can be found.

Talbots' boss Zetcher leaves. Talbots chairman, president and CEO Arnold Zetcher has left the company.
Zetcher, who led the company for 20 years, left his CEO and president roles on 2 February and his chairman role in 2008. Talbots’ board of directors has appointed a special search committee to select a successor to Zetcher and will consider both internal and external candidates. Presiding director Susan Swain said: " Zetcher has guided Talbots’ transformation over the past 20 years from a small, privately held regional company with 109 stores to a $2.2bn publicly traded, multi-channel, multi-brand retailer". Zetcher joined Talbots in 1987 as president, became CEO in 1988, and added the role of chairman of the board in 2000. Prior to Talbots, Zetcher served in a number of senior executive positions, including chairman and CEO of John Breuner Company, then the home furnishings division of BATUS; chairman and CEO of Kohl’s Food Stores, also then part of BATUS; and chairman and CEO of Bonwit-Teller, a New York City-based women's specialty retailer with stores nationwide.

Chico's CFO steps down. Apparel maker Chico's FAS Inc. said Charles Kleman plans to step down from his position as the company's chief financial officer and treasurer. Chico's said it plans to immediately launch a national search for a replacement. Kleman will retain his current duties until a replacement is found and then work in investor relations and keep his position on the board. "This Company has ambitions that, frankly, could benefit from executive skills that I'm not necessarily in a position to bring to the table," said Kleman said.

Zumiez CFO to leave in April Sports retailer Zumiez, said Chief Financial Officer Brenda Morris will resign her post in early April for personal reasons. The company has started searching for her replacement. In a statement, Morris said she wanted to be closer to her family and will remain to help with the transition. Zumiez, which focuses on skateboarding, surfing, snowboard and motocross apparel and equipment, has 236 stores and plans to open 50 more this year.