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Columbia Sportswear taps former Gap vet to lead merchandising

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Columbia Sportswear’s namesake brand has a new global merchandising chief.

The company named Michael Richardson as VP of global merchandising for the Columbia brand, effective April 23. He will report to executive VP and Columbia brand president Joe Boyle.

In his new role, Richardson will be responsible for developing and executing the strategic vision for Columbia’s global apparel product assortment. His efforts will help the company “transform Columbia into a multichannel consumer brand,” said Boyle.

Richardson brings 30 years of retail industry experience to the position, most of it gained at Gap Inc. He spent nine years in merchandising roles at Gap, most recently, serving as VP of franchise product. In this role, he managed the product teams in merchandising, planning and buying for the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy franchise businesses across approximately 40 countries.

Richardson joined Gap in 1993, as a divisional merchandise manager — a position he held for 15 years. Richardson was also president and principle for Coopers Gourmet Foods. He started his career as VP and general manager for sporting goods retailer Sports Country Ltd.

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Footwear retailer taps Disney vet as president

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Famous Footwear has ended its search for a new president.

Molly Adams has been named president of Famous Footwear, which is owned by Caleres. She will take the helm as of May 29.

Adams will be tasked with focusing on consumer engagement, store productivity and omnichannel initiatives. In 2017, Famous Footwear made $1.6 billion in revenue, which accounted for 59% of the revenue in the Caleres portfolio.

Most recently, Adams was executive VP, global merchandising and product development at The Walt Disney Company, a position she has held since 2008. During her tenure, she led two multibillion-dollar business areas, and a combined global merchandising and product development team.

Prior to Disney, Adams held positions with private equity-owned and smaller companies in retail and entertainment. Adams spent eight years at specialty fashion retail chain Anchor Blue Retail group as a senior VP and general merchandise manager and divisional merchandise manager.

She also served as president of Stony Apparel Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of juniors’ and kids’ fashion apparel. Adams also held a variety of retail positions early in her career including merchandising, buying, sales and management positions at major department stores and specialty retail stores.

Caleres operates more than 1,200 retail stores and also sells its product in hundreds of major department and specialty stores, on its branded e-commerce sites, and on many additional third-party retail websites. Its brand include Famous Footwear, Sam Edelman, Allen Edmonds, Franco Sarto, Vince, Via Spiga, George Brown Bilt, Diane von Furstenberg, Fergie Footwear and Carlos Santana and others.

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Fast-casual giant begins hunt for new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

The chief executive of Subway is stepping down.

Suzanne Greco will retire as CEO of Subway on June 30, at which point she will become a senior advisor to the company. Subway has appointed Trevor Haynes, chief business development officer, as interim CEO, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, effective May 2, while it searches for a permanent chief. Haynes, who joined Subway in 2006, will work with Greco to ensure a smooth transition until Greco officially retires.

Greco has been CEO since 2015. She joined the company in 1973 as a “sandwich artist.” Prior to her role as CEO, she was part of the research & development team for over two decades and was promoted to lead the group as VP of operations and research & development in 2013.

“As we work with Suzanne on a smooth transition for the business we cherish, we are grateful for her extraordinary contributions and her insightful and dedicated leadership,” Subway’s shareholders stated. “We are optimistic about the brand and look forward to working with the next CEO to ensure a robust future for the company.”

Subway operates about 44,000 restaurants in 112 countries. Founded by then 17-year-old Fred Deluca and family friend Dr. Peter Buck more than 52 years ago, Subway is still a family owned business, working with more than 21,000 franchisees.

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