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Activist upset at Destination Maternity—new board to be dominated by women

BY Marianne Wilson

Destination Maternity has a new board—and a new interim CEO.

Following a drawn-out and bitter proxy battle, and based on preliminary results, all four members of a dissident slate—three of them women— took seats from incumbent directors at Destination Maternity’s annual meeting on Wednesday. The losing slate, which was supported by the retailer, included three men and one woman, interim CEO Melissa Payner-Gregor.

Female-dominated board of directors are extremely rate, reported CNBC. Only once in the three years starting in January 2015, has a management team or dissident put forth a slate in the U.S. that had a majority women nominees, said CNBC, which cited Proxy Insight.

The newly elected Destination Maternity board includes Marla Ryan, founder of Lola Advisors, a business consultancy for the apparel, beauty and wellness industry, who takes over as interim CEO, according to philly.com. Previously, she held senior positions at Lands’ End and J. Crew.

It also includes Holly N. Alden, co-founder of Skullcandy, and of Stace; Christopher Morgan, formerly an equity analyst at Kingdon Capital; and Anne-Charlotte Windal, a former Wall Street retail analyst with Bernstein Research.

“We are excited to start working with Destination Maternity’s highly talented employees to grow the business and drive performance,” stated Ryla. “I am confident that the current board and management team will work closely with us – as they already have been – on a smooth transition, which is in the best interests of all the company’s stakeholders. We look forward to helping realize the unique promise of this brand and business.”

While the results have not yet been certified, the preliminary vote count showed that all four dissidents were elected, Reuters reported.

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Macy’s taps former Ahold exec to head up finance

BY Marianne Wilson

Macy’s has found a replacement for longtime CFO Karen Hoguet, who is retiring after 21 years in the role.

The department store retailer named Paula A. Price as CFO, effective July 9. Hoguet will remain with Macy’s in an advisory role to support the company during a transition period until February 2, 2019.

Price is currently a senior lecturer in the accounting and management department at Harvard Business School. Before joining Harvard in 2014, she was executive VP, CFO at Ahold USA, leading a team of over 1,000 across finance, accounting, strategy and planning, real estate and information technology.

Prior to her role with Ahold USA, Price served as senior VP, controller and chief accounting officer of CVS Caremark Corporation, where she was a major contributor to the execution of the CVS/Caremark merge.

“I’m excited to have Paula join Macy’s, Inc. at such an important time for our business,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chairman and CEO. “She is an accomplished financial executive with an impressive breadth and depth of retail experience and will be a great addition to the team. Having led finance in a variety of complex and dynamic retail organizations, Paula’s insights and experience will serve Macy’s well.”

 

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Zulily
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Amazon apparel exec to head up zulily

BY Marianne Wilson

A 13-year Amazon veteran is set to take the helm of fast-growing online retailer zulily.

Jeff Yurcisin has been named president of zulily, effective August 15. Lori Twomey, who is currently serving as interim president of zulily, will continue as chief merchant, zulily, after Yurcisin’s arrival in August. Zulily is part of Qurate Retail Group, whose other brands include QVC, HSN, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, and Grandin Road.

Most recently, Yurcisin served as VP of Amazon Fashion’s Private Brands business, where he helped launch dozens of brands across women’s, men’s and children’s categories. Previously, as VP of Amazon Fashion, he led teams across men’s, women’s and kids/baby categories.

Before that, Yurcisin and served as general manager and CEO of Shopbop, a wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Amazon. He led Shopbop’s rapid expansion in the U.S. and internationally. Among other accomplishments, he led new site re-designs, launched a men’s business, and began offering free 3-day shipping worldwide

“Jeff has a strong track record of inspiring his teams to defy convention, find new ways to delight customers and drive growth,” said Mike George, president and CEO, Qurate Retail. “With his passion for innovation in retail, Jeff is an ideal executive to build on zulily’s momentum. In addition, Jeff will help us nurture and leverage the entrepreneurial spirit that makes zulily such an asset for the entire Qurate Retail Group.”

The also announced the following:
-Mary Campbell, a 20-year QVC veteran, has been named chief merchandising and interactive officer, Qurate Retail Group, effective immediately.
-Aidan O’Meara has been named president, Qurate Retail Group International, effective July 2, 2018. He most recently served as group president, international at VF Corp,
-Tom Bazzone has been named president, Frontgate. He joins from TMB Group, a consulting firm he founded in 2011 to advise specialty retailers, their owners, and prospective investors on all aspects of retail.

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