Crocs names former Wal-Mart exec as GM, Americas
Niwot, Colo. — Former Wal-Mart executive Greg Sullivan has been appointed general manager of Crocs’ Americas region, which includes all of North America, Central America and South America. In this role, Sullivan will be responsible for managing the region’s day-to-day operations, including overseeing sales, marketing, finance and human resources functions, as well as the region’s wholesale, Internet and direct-to-consumer channels.
Prior to joining Crocs, Sullivan spent 20 years at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Most recently, Sullivan served as senior VP of operations for Wal-Mart’s Southeast division, where he oversaw total store operations, real estate strategy and profit and loss accountability for the region’s 345 stores and 110,000 associates. Sullivan was heavily involved in the development and implementation of Wal-Mart’s new urban and rural formats, designed to grow market share and profitability.
Changing of the guard at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has appointed Paul D. O’Brien as the company’s president of the Asia Pacific region, a newly created position. O’Brien will report to president and CEO Brian P. Kelley.
The appointment coincides with current president of international business development Gerard Geoffrion’s announcement that he plans to retire at the end of calendar 2014.
O’Brien joins GMCR from Sara Lee Corporation, where he served as managing director of the Kitchens of Sara Lee Pty., based in Australia, since Nov. 2010.
"I’m pleased to welcome Paul to the GMCR team as we look to cultivate the quality, convenience, and variety of the Keurig system beyond North America," said Kelley. "With more than 20 years of experience developing and implementing growth strategies in various international markets, Paul’s expertise and focus on our vision will help the company prosper in this new geography.”
O’Brien has held roles including strategy, sales, marketing, and innovation responsibilities across various Asia Pacific geographies with companies including Accenture, Defiance Hong Kong Pty, and the Kellogg Company where he was director of strategy and business development for the Asia Pacific region. Throughout the last decade, he has led premium-branded companies, including Lowan Australia Limited as managing director and CEO, Illinois Tool Works as group general manager of ITW construction systems, and Kitchens of Sara Lee Pty. as managing director. O’Brien has a bachelor’s of economics from University of Queensland, and a masters of accounting and a master of business administration from Bond University. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
“Gérard has contributed significantly to Green Mountain and Van Houtte’s success during his nearly two decades of service,” said Kelley, commenting on Geoffrion’s retirement. “We are glad to have Gérard engaged over the next year to continue our international expansion and transition his responsibilities to leaders of key geographic segments.”
Geoffrion was named president of international business development for GMCR in Oct. 2012. He previously served as president of GMCR’s Canadian business unit. He joined the company in Dec. 2010 through the acquisition of Van Houtte and was previously Van Houtte’s president and CEO. Geoffrion joined Van Houtte in 1995 and held a number of positions during his tenure including EVP and CFO and VP of corporate development. Geoffrion will step down from his position on March 31, 2014 and continue as executive adviser of strategic initiatives from April 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2014.
Apple hires Burberry CEO to run its retail stores
Cupertino, Calif. — Apple Inc. has hired a much-admired fashion industry veteran to run its retail stores. The company announced Tuesday that Angela Ahrendts, CEO of British luxury giant Burberry Group Plc, has been appointed to the newly created position of senior VP of retail and online stores. She will join Apple in the spring from Burberry.
At Apple, Ahrendts, 53, will become a member of the executive team and report directly to CEO Tim Cook. She will be the first woman on Apple’s 10-member executive team.
In a statement, Apple said Ahrendts will have “oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores.”
“I am profoundly honored to join Apple in this newly created position next year, and very much look forward to working with the global teams to further enrich the consumer experience on and offline,” said Ahrendts. “I have always admired the innovation and impact Apple products and services have on people’s lives and hope in some small way I can help contribute to the company’s continued success and leadership in changing the world.”
The appointment fills a major gap in Apple’s lucrative global store operations that goes back to the 2011 departure of Ron Johnson, who resigned as senior VP of retail to head up J.C. Penney. Johnson was replaced by U.K. retail chief John Browett, whose time at Apple was both brief and rocky. He was ousted from the company last year as part of a broader management shakeup.
Prior to joining Burberry, Ahrendts served as executive VP at Liz Claiborne Inc., and, prior to that, as president of Donna Karan International. At Burberry, she is credited with more than doubling the brand’s sales since 2006, partially by focusing on the digital side of the business.
“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “She shares our values and our focus on innovation, and she places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience. She has shown herself to be an extraordinary leader throughout her career and has a proven track record.”
The Burberry chief is not Apple’s only fashion hire. In August, it tapped Paul Deneve, former CEO and president of Yves Saint Laurent, to be VP in charge of special projects.
Ahrendts’ role at Burberry will be filled by the company’s chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, who will hold the titles of chief creative officer and CEO.