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Former Forever 21, Abercrombie exec joins MedMen

BY Marianne Wilson

Fast-growing cannabis company MedMen has tapped a retail veteran to head up finance.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced the appointment of Michael W. Kramer as CFO, effective Dec. 10. Most recently, he served as CFO of Forever 21. Kramer also served as COO of J.C. Penney (December 2011 – April 2013), CEO and president of Kellwood Inc. (August 2008 – December 2011), and executive VP and CFO of Abercrombie & Fitch (August 2005 – August 2008) where he oversaw 12 quarters of increased year-over-year earnings, according to MedMen. He also served as CFO of Apple Retail (2000 – 2005).

“Michael’s extensive financial and operational experience in retail and tech, and his success in scaling high-growth businesses will be instrumental as MedMen moves to operationalize the balance of our footprint,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen co-founder and CEO. “His appointment underscores our commitment to investing in a strong management team with a track record of execution. Our industry and business continue to evolve, and it is paramount that we have the right talent to execute at each stage of our growth.”

Kramer’s hiring follows a number of key executive hires at MedMen in recent months, including:

• COO Ben Cook, a global supply chain executive with brands such as Apple and Sam’s Club;

• CMO David H. Dancer, a veteran marketing executive with more than 25 years of experience leading brands such as Teleflora, Charles Schwab, Visa and American Express;

• Senior VP of human resources Clarence Foster with 20 years of experience leading companies in manufacturing, automotive and consumer products for companies such as Nissan Motors and L’Oréal; and

• Chief digital officer Mike Lane with two decades of experience leading design and development of digital customer experiences at brands like Live Nation, Ticketmaster, FOX Broadcasting and Adobe.

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Nike appoints new leader for its direct business

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Nike has promoted a company veteran to oversee all of the brand’s digital initiatives.

Heidi O’Neill has been named president of Nike Direct, effective immediately. This will be in addition to her current role as president of direct to consumer, where she oversees Nike’s physical retail stores and nike.com. She will report to Elliott Hill, president, consumer and marketplace.

In her new role, O’Neill will be responsible for all Nike digital products, services and member experiences, as well as “lead Nike Direct through the next transformative and digitally-led era,” Hill said.

O’Neill, a 20-year Nike veteran, has held senior management roles across the company, including her current role. She has also held positions of increasing responsibility, including VP of U.S. apparel; VP, general manager of global Nike women’s category, and VP, general manager of Nike stores globally. She began her career at Nike as a marketing director in apparel.

Prior to joining Nike, O’Neill held roles at Levi Strauss & Co., and Foote Cone & Belding in San Francisco. O’Neill is a founding board member of the Nike School Innovation Fund, a current member of the Board of Directors for Spotify, and is a former director of the Skullcandy Board of Directors.

Adam Sussman, previously Nike’s chief digital officer, also will assume an expanded role to become VP, general manager Nike Direct digital and geographies. Sussman will continue to oversee Nike digital and the consumer vision for digital products, experiences, services and capabilities across the marketplace, while taking on management responsibility of the four key Nike direct geographies. Sussman will report to O’Neill.

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Sprouts Farmers Market on the hunt for new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Fast-growing Sprouts Farmers Market is losing its chief executive.

The Phoenix-based natural and organic grocer said that Amin Maredia is stepping down as CEO on Dec. 30 “to pursue other interests.” Jim Nielsen, president and COO of Sprouts and Brad Lukow, CFO, will serve as co-interim CEOs until a permanent successor is named. The company is currently working with a executive search firm to find Maredia’s replacement.

Nielsen joined Sprouts in 2011 as COO and has served as president and chief operating officer since A 2015. Prior to that, he was president of Henry’s Farmers Markets. Lukow has served as Sprouts’ CFO since 2016, having previously served as executive VP and CFO of Shoppers Drug Mart.

The departing Maredia has served as CEO of Sprouts since August 2015. He joined the company in 2011 as CFO. Prior to that, Maredia held executive posts at Burger King Corp., including serving as VP of finance for North and Latin America from March 2009 to February 2011 and as VP of strategic planning and treasurer from July 2005 to March 2009.

“It has been an enormous privilege to have been part of the Sprouts team during this incredible period in the company’s history over the past eight years,” Maredia said in a statement. “As I transition, it is comforting knowing that Sprouts is well-positioned with a strong management team for robust growth and sustained success.”

Sprouts has been steadily expanding its portfolio. The grocer plans to open 30 stores in 2019, about the same as this year. The retailer currently more than 300 stores in 19 states.

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