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Survey: Cloud computing benefits retail bottom lines

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Antonio, Texas — A survey by open-cloud company Rackspace Hosting of 1,300 U.S. and U.K. companies revealed that retail in both countries has benefited from cloud computing via IT cost reductions, increased profits, improved disaster recovery and business agility, as well as strengthened out-of-office employee performance.

The survey, conducted in conjunction with U.K.-based Manchester Business School, revealed that 63% of retail companies attribute the cloud for increased profits. More than half (55%) of these companies reported profits increased from 10% to 50% by using the cloud. Of all the industries polled, retailer lead in terms of how much profits have increased from the cloud.

A majority 73% of retail firms said the cloud reduced their IT costs; 50% said the reduction was in the 10% to 50% range.

Most said cloud computing has been a key factor in the recent entrepreneurial boom with 53% in retail saying the cloud helped them ‘punch above their weight’ in competing with larger companies.

One of the most obvious benefits of the cloud was the ability of employees to access information anytime, anywhere. This way, employees could work while they travel or remotely from home.

Most (64%) of retail companies said cloud computing improved their disaster recovery and business agility.

Most said they are using open source cloud technology and even more said open cloud use is increasing. Many said they liked open cloud because the costs are lower and business agility as well as the pace of innovation increase with open standards.

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Clif Bar prez promoted to CEO

BY CSA STAFF

EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Clif Bar & Company has promoted president and COO Kevin Cleary to CEO. In his new role, Cleary will focus on expanding Clif Bar’s growth in the sports nutrition and healthy snacks category while continuing to lead the company’s day-to-day business operations.

Owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford will continue as co-chairs of Clif Bar & Company’s board of directors and become co-chief visionary officers guiding the company’s Five Aspirations business model.

“Kevin’s talent for leadership and passion for a sustainable business model is evident by our tremendous business growth. To date, Kevin has expanded Clif Bar’s national and international distribution while directing the rapid expansion of the company’s portfolio of on-the-go snacks,” said Erickson. “With a passion for people engagement and environmental and social responsibility, Kevin has increased the use of organic and certified sustainable ingredients in our products to new levels,” added Crawford.

“It’s been an amazing experience bringing Clif Bar’s Five Aspirations business model to life day-to day-and seeing great results across the company from sales to our work in communities around the globe,” said Cleary. “We couldn’t have realized that kind of positive growth without the hard work of our amazing people. I’m looking forward to building on this momentum as we look to the future.”

Cleary, a San Francisco Bay Area native, husband and father of three boys, joined Clif Bar in 2004 as EVP of sales. In 2006, he was promoted to COO, and in 2009 he was promoted to president and COO.

Clif Bar & Company owns the Clif Bar energy bar, Luna, the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women and Clif Kid and Nourishing Kids in Motion brands.

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Children’s Place CFO adds COO title

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Secaucus, N.J. — The Children’s Place said Wednesday that current CFO Michael Scarpa has also been appointed COO, effective immediately.

Scarpa will continue to oversee finance, information technology, distribution, logistics and wholesale, and will add store operations, store development and international to his current responsibilities.

Prior to joining The Children’s Place, Scarpa was COO and CFO of The Talbots.

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