A flurry of management changes have taken place at leading retailers recently, including Jet.com, ModCloth and Tapestry.
Jet.com: Walmart's Jet.com has named Tesco veteran Simon Belsham as president of the e-commerce company, effective immediately, the company told CNBC on Monday. Belsham will be responsible for expanding Jet's online grocery business, Walmart E-Commerce CEO Marc Lore said in a memo to employees. Belsham spent seven years at Tesco, one of Britain's top grocery retailers, and worked at U.K.-based Ocado, helping the online supermarket expand its nonfood business. He succeeds Liza Landsman, who announced plans recently to leave Jet.com and join a venture capital firm.
ModCloth: Matt Kaness, the former CEO of ModCloth who sold the women’s fashion retailer to Walmart one year ago, has left the vintage-inspired retailer, according to Recode. Kaness joined ModCloth as CEO in early 2015 after a stint as chief strategy officer of Urban Outfitters. Under Kaness’s leadership, ModCloth grew its private-label business and tested out physical showrooms. Reportedly, Kaness continued to run ModCloth after the purchase by Walmart, but the retail industry veteran turned down a move from San Francisco to Los Angeles after Walmart management decided that the CEO role should be based there, ultimately paving the way for his exit. ModCloth’s CEO role is now held by former Bonobos Chief Financial Officer Antonio Nieves, who also previously held the same role at ModCloth.
Tapestry: Modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands company Tapestry (formerly Coach) announced on Friday that Anna Bakst has been named CEO and brand president of Kate Spade. Bakst will succeed Craig Leavitt, who left the brand in 2017. In this role, Bakst will be responsible for all aspects of Kate Spade globally and will report to Victor Luis, Tapestry, Inc.’s CEO, who has been leading the brand in an interim capacity since Leavitt’s departure. Bakst has more than 25 years of experience managing and cultivating businesses for global fashion houses, most recently at Michael Kors where, until January 2017, she held the role of group president of accessories and footwear. Bakst joined Michael Kors in 2003, leading the successful launch of the company’s accessories and footwear businesses. Prior to Michael Kors, Baskt had a 12-year career at Donna Karan International, ultimately as president of accessories and footwear.
Total Retail's Take: Are there any connections to all of these moves? Why so many changes right now? For starters, the second fiscal quarter is just around the corner for many retailers, and the end of quarters is usually when decisions are made on executive changes (ultimately based on sales and profits results). Furthermore, as the retail industry continues to evolve, companies are taking hard looks at how all of their executives are performing and making changes accordingly. We're staying tuned for even more changes in the near future.