OPERATIONS

Kroger recognized for disability hiring efforts

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. has been named Employer of the Year by the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities. The Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities fosters the employment of young people with disabilities.

The Bridges from School to Work program run by the Marriott Foundation helps more than one thousand young people enter the workforce annually as they leave high school, and partners with Kroger to place young people with disabilities in its stores in cities across the U.S.

"We are honored to receive this recognition from the Marriott Foundation," said Katy Barclay, Kroger’s senior VP of human resources. "We have a long tradition of hiring people with disabilities, especially on our front lines serving customers. We thank the Marriott Foundation for the valuable work they do to help businesses meet their workforce development needs."

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Former Saks CEO Sadove to lead new tech-focused division at Traub Associates

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Steve Sadove, former chairman and CEO of Saks Inc., has joined consulting firm Marvin Traub Associates to launch a new division focused on innovative technologies, concepts and platforms in the retail and consumer industries. Sadove is heading up the new Traub Accelerator division as co-founder, and will also advise Traub’s traditional clients and join the board of directors.

“We are thrilled to launch this new division under the direction of Steve Sadove, whose passion for innovation and technology in our industry aligns with our mission of helping cutting edge companies develop and grow fresh ideas to reach their full potential,” said Mortimer Singer, CEO of Marvin Traub Associates. “As technology continues to transform the way consumers shop, powerful results occur when innovative ideas connect with industry expertise and insight.”

Traub Accelerator’s first projects include helping Powa Technologies bring its “point of impulse” shopping app, PowaTag, to the United States. Pioneered in Europe, the app ets consumers use mobile devices to scan and instantly buy tagged products that they see in display ads, magazines, billboards and shop windows. Fast Retailing Co.’s Comptoir des Cotonniers division recently launched the service.

Sadove led Saks from 2006-2013, leaving in September, a couple months after Saks was acquired by Hudson’s Bay Company.. His career spans more than 25 years in consumer goods companies. He was the president of Clairol, as well as the president of worldwide beauty care and nutritionals at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Sadove also spent 17 years at Kraft General Foods, rising to the position of executive VP of General Foods USA, prior to taking on the Clairol position.

Sadove also serves as the chairman of the National Retail Federation (NRF), and is a board member of JCPenney, Aramark, Ruby Tuesday, and Colgate-Palmolive.

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Lululemon founder Wilson votes against reinstating directors

BY Dan Berthiaume

Vancouver, Canada — Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson announced that he voted against the re-election of Michael Casey and RoAnn Costin to the board of Lululemon Athletica. Wilson, who founded the company in 1998, had been living in Australia and was asked by the company to return and deal with a quality control issue that resulted in a product recall during 2013.

Wilson oversaw a management shakeup that resulted in a new CEO and head of product quality. Casey, a former Starbucks executive, recently rose to chairman of the board from lead director after Wilson announced his resignation as chairman to focus on other ventures. Costin is president of a private Boston-based equity company that focuses on investing in early and expansion-stage consumer product and retailing companies.

"After being asked by the board to come back from Australia to help the company recover from the product recall last year, I have decided to vote against the re-election of the company’s outside board members,” said Wilson. “While I am excited about the new management team that I helped put in place, I am concerned that the board is not aligned with the core values of product and innovation on which Lululemon was founded and on which the company thrived. As a 27% shareholder in the company, I believe change is now needed at the board level to increase shareholder value."

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