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Abercrombie & Fitch separates chairman, CEO roles

BY Dan Berthiaume

New Albany, Ohio – Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is separating its chairman and CEO roles and expanding its board’s size to 12 members. The teen retailer is also terminating its shareholder rights plan.

Under the new arrangement, Michael Jefferies will remain a director and CEO, but will no longer serve as chairman, a position he has held since 1996. The company named Arthur Martinez, the former CEO of Sears, Roebuck & Co., as non-executive chairman. Martinzez, along with Terry Burman and Charles Perrin, was one of three new board members named by the company. The appointments are effective immediately. (Burman is the former CEO of Signet Jewelers Ltd., and Perrin is the former chairman and CEO of Avon Products Inc.).

In other changes, Craig Stapleton, who has served as lead independent director since 2010, will no longer serve in that role but will continue as a director.

"I have strongly supported the significant corporate governance enhancements the company has made in the past few years, and I am thrilled by the announcements we are making today,” said Mike Jeffries, CEO. “Arthur Martinez brings extensive sector expertise, deep boardroom experience, and valuable perspectives to the new role of non-executive chairman. I am confident that he is the right choice to lead the board of Abercrombie & Fitch as we execute against our strategic plans and move in to the next phase of the company’s growth. Terry Burman and Charlie Perrin also bring extensive boardroom and retail experience and, along with Arthur, will be outstanding additions to the Abercrombie & Fitch board. I could not be more excited to welcome them to Abercrombie & Fitch.”

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Emery Clarke says:
Jan-29-2014 03:49 pm

Expanded Board
Just so we understand - the company sales are down, profits are down, so let's separate a single position into two payrolls and expand the board (and incur more expense) by 2 people. Then we'll wonder why the stock price continues to tank.

Emery Clarke says:
Jan-29-2014 03:49 pm

Just so we understand - the company sales are down, profits are down, so let's separate a single position into two payrolls and expand the board (and incur more expense) by 2 people. Then we'll wonder why the stock price continues to tank.

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Jo-Ann reshuffles executive leadership team

BY CSA STAFF

Jo-Ann has promoted Riddianne Kline to EVP, marketing and merchandising, and Tom Williams to EVP, operations and human resources. James Kerr, EVP, CFO, completes the executive leadership team reporting to CEO and president Travis Smith.

“The promotions of Riddi and Tom to these roles enable us to have greater focus on the key aspects of our business and strategic priorities as we move forward,” said Smith. “Riddi will be responsible for all aspects of product, merchandising and the way in which we bring the entire customer experience together between our digital and store channels. Tom will ensure we continue to provide excellent service to our customers, regardless of where they choose to shop with us. I am excited about the leadership and focus Riddi and Tom will bring to these roles.”

Kline, in addition to retaining her current responsibilities overseeing all of business intelligence and consumer insights, inventory management, marketing, merchandising and product development and sourcing, will now assume responsibility for omnichannel initiatives. She has been with Jo-Ann since 2002.

Williams will assume responsibility for supply chain, logistics and store development. He will retain his current responsibilities overseeing all corporate human resource functions for Jo-Ann and leading the store operations organization — accounting for more than 20,000 employees and 830 stores. He has been with Jo-Ann since 1998.

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Report: Wal-Mart, Kroger have PIN-and-chip hardware ready

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Major U.S. retailers including Wal-Mart Stores and Kroger reportedly already have hardware to read PIN-and-chip payment cards, which are more resilient against data breaches than the magnetic stripe payment cards commonly used by American consumers. However, according to the Dallas Morning News, the hardware is largely unusable because customers do not have PIN-and-chip cards.

Wal-Mart and Kroger spokespeople are both quoted in the article as saying they are ready to accept PIN-and-chip payment cards from a hardware perspective, but need the supporting infrastructure in place. That infrastructure includes processing systems as well as support from credit card issuers and banks.

The retailers also said that data thieves are aware of the mandate for all U.S. retailers to be able to accept payments from EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa)-compliant PIN-and-chip payment cards by October 2015, or be liable for any fraud losses resulting from a purchase with one of those cards. This deadline may be prompting hackers to steal as much data from magnetic stripe cards as possible before the deadline.

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