Apple Inc.’s head of retail and online stores, Angela Ahrendts, plans to leave the retailer—No. 2 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000—after a five-year tenure. She joined in 2014 from fashion brand Burberry Ltd. (No. 475), where she was CEO for eight years. Ahrendts did not disclose where she would be working next.
30-year Apple veteran—and current vice president of human resources—Deirdre O’Brien will be taking on the retail and online stores responsibilities in an expanded role as senior vice president of retail and people. She will continue to oversee employee development, employee recruitment, employee relationships and Apple University.
“Through the teams’ collective efforts, retail has never been stronger or better positioned to make an even greater contribution for Apple,” Ahrendts said in a post announcing her departure. “I feel there is no better time to pass the baton to Deirdre, one of Apple’s strongest executives.”
“For more than three decades, [O’Brien] has helped keep Apple focused on serving customers and enriching lives. She’s an exceptional leader and she’s been a vital partner to our retail teams around the world since the very beginning,” says CEO Tim Cook.
In other ecommerce news:
Fabric and crafting retailer Joann (No. 363) named Wade Miquelon as president and CEO. He became interim president and CEO—in addition to continuing his roles as executive vice president and chief financial officer—in October 2018 after Jill Soltau became CEO of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (No. 31). Miquelon joined the retailer in 2016 after working as executive vice president, chief financial officer and president of international at Walgreens Boots Alliance (No. 37) for more than six years.
- Vitamin retailer The Vitamin Shoppe (No. 287) appointed Neal Panza as senior vice president of retail sales and operations. Prior to this role, Panza was vice president of retail for two years at Brookstone and held various senior roles at The Gymboree Corp. (No. 531) for nearly 10 years and at The Disney Store for nearly six years.
- Watch e-retailer Hodinkee Inc. (No. 325) hired Russell Kelly as its first chief commercial officer. Kelly will manage wholesale partnerships and brand collaborators for the company, as well as help develop new products and build its market presence. Prior to Hodinkee, Kelly was vice president at Rolex Watch and brand manager of its Tudor Watch brand for more than six years.
- Kroger Co. (No. 86) named its chief digital officer, Yael Cosset, the grocery retailer’s executive vice president and chief information officer, effective May 1. He will take over for Christopher Hjelm, who is retiring this year. Cosset will be responsible for digital and technology initiatives, particularly those surrounding Kroger Restock, its strategic plan to expand Kroger’s digital and ecommerce efforts and make broader use of personalized customer data. Prior to Kroger, which he joined in January 2017, Cosset was chief commercial officer and chief information officer at management consultancy 84.51° and held several leadership roles at customer data science platform dunnhumby.
- Software-as-a-service platform ContentSquare has raised $60 million in Series C funding, led by global investment company Eurazeo. The company intends to use the funding to increase research and development on artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, as well as expand its business across North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. “Online and offline, this will provide retailers and brands with a larger return on investment and help them to identify business opportunities, in addition to driving the new, decision-based era of digital experiences to our customers—a critical factor in today’s ultra-competitive digital landscape,” says CEO and founder Jonathan Cherki.
Hair color brand Madison Reed raised $51 million in Series D funding led by existing investors Norwest Venture Partners and True Ventures, along with new investor Meaningful Partners, bringing its total funding to $121.1 million, according to Crunchbase. With the new funding, Madison Reed plans to introduce new products, increase its television advertising and add 40 new bricks-and-mortar Madison Reed Color Bars by the end of 2020 to its current six in New York City and San Francisco. The hair color retailer also has hired Brian Bouma as its first-ever chief operating officer and Carrie Kalinowski as its chief financial officer.