Online-only discount retailer Hollar has begun a search for a new CEO. Hollar’s current CEO and co-founder David Yeom initially confirmed the search with technology news website Recode but declined to discuss with either Recode or Internet Retailer about the cause for a change in leadership. An outside firm is heading up the search. Hollar is No. 970 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000.
“We have a very open dialogue. Nothing is off limits,” says Yeom. “But there was never, ever a point where Jeremy, Danny [Rimer] or Eric [Feng] ever said to me, ‘We should get a new CEO.’ No one forced me to do anything. If I wanted to say, ‘I’m good as is; we can pause and stop the search altogether,’ it’s totally within my discretion.”
First-time founder Yeom previously worked as vice president of marketing at The Honest Co. (No. 135) and has scored many investments since Hollar’s 2015 launch. Recode also reported that Hollar recently raised an additional $35 million from investors at a $200 million valuation, according to PitchBook.
In other e-commerce personnel news:
- J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (No. 33 in the Top 1000) announced a big executive shakeup, with Therace Risch assuming the role of both chief information officer and chief digital officer. The new role comes as Mike Amend steps away from the company. The former head of omnichannel at J.C. Penney, Amend left the same role at The Home Depot Inc. (No. 8). He joined J.C. Penney after former Home Depot executive Marvin Ellison, who launched online shopping for the hardware giant, took the CEO role at J.C. Penney.
- Yoox (No. 76) appointed Giuseppe Tamola as its global brand and marketing director. Tamola will develop the Yoox Brand and Marketing mix, further increasing commercial efficiency. Prior to YOOX, Tamola spent seven years at Zalando in Berlin, where he gained expertise in internationalization strategies targeting European markets such as Italy, Spain and Poland. Tamola has experience working across operations, performance marketing, retail, localization and brand marketing and will focus on developing Yoox strategies.
- Nikki Baird has left Retail Systems Research after 11 years. She is now vice president of retail innovations at Aptos Retail. “It is with great regret that I leave RSR–a company, a group of people, and a mission I still firmly believe in–and also with great excitement that I look ahead to joining Aptos,” Baird wrote in a statement on LinkedIn. “The mission–helping the retail industry survive its transformation–is unchanged. But the tools at my disposal to influence that change will be new and different.”
- German retailer Otto Group, No. 2 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Europe 500, appointed Kay Schiebur as chief operating officer, services of the trading and service group at Otto Group. He succeeds Hanjo Schneider. “With his outstanding specialist knowledge and leadership skills in both logistics and retail, Mr. Schiebur is the ideal person for this executive board position,” says Michael Otto, the chairman of the supervisory board, in a statement. “His personal integrity and entrepreneurial attitude make him an ideal fit with our company group.”
- Pinterest Inc. hired Francoise Brougher, a former executive at Square Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, as the social media company’s first chief operation officer, starting March 12. Pinterest aims to scale its advertising business internationally ahead of a potential initial public offering. “Brougher will be instrumental in bringing the company through its next phase of growth as it continues to expand its user base internationally and scale its global advertising program,” Pinterest said in a statement.
- Marketing company Newell Brands (No. 48), which owns a number of brands in the commercial and home market, named three new independent directors: James Craigie, former CEO of Church & Dwight with deep brand building experience and a long track record of value creation; Debra Crew, former CEO of Reynolds American, who brings a broad range of experience in branding, marketing, operations and strategy at some of the world’s leading consumer products companies; and Judith Sprieser, a founder and the former CEO of Transora, with decades of experience in both financial and operations management of consumer packaged goods companies.
- BigCommerce Pty. Ltd. named Russell Klein the company’s first-ever chief development officer. Klein has been with the company for the last three years, playing an integral role in developing the breadth of industry partnerships. In addition, MaryAnn Bekkedahl has joined BigCommerce as senior vice president of business development, and BigCommerce veteran Kevin McKeand has been promoted to vice president of strategic partnerships.
- Electronics chain Maplin Electronics Ltd., No. 207 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Europe 500, joins the growing list of U.K. retailers now in the British equivalent of bankruptcy protection. Maplin has entered into insolvencies and collapsed into administration, which threatens 300 stores and nearly 5,500 Maplin workers, unless a buyer can be found. This deepens a retail crisis prompted by the rise of online shopping and worsened by the pound’s plunge after the vote to leave the European Union. Recently, Maplin, owned by private equity firm Rutland Partners, unsuccessfully tried to raise new capital. “The business has worked hard over recent months to mitigate a combination of impacts from sterling devaluation post-Brexit, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance,” says Maplin CEO Graham Harris in a statement. “This necessitated an intensive search for new capital that in current market conditions has proved impossible to raise.”