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Francesca’s taps Penney exec to head up merchandising

BY Marianne Wilson

Francesca’s Holdings Corp. has appointed a retail veteran as its new chief merchant.

The specialty retailer named Ivy R. Spargo as senior VP and chief merchandising officer, effective Nov. 27. She succeeds Laurie Hummel, who left the chain in August after less than two years in the position. No reason was given for her departure, but the chain cited missteps in merchandising for its disappointing second quarter performance.

Spargo was most recently senior VP, general merchandise manager of Sephora inside J.C. Penney and women’s specialty apparel for Penney, where she was responsible for developing and leading the strategic plan and direction for these businesses.

Prior to joining Penney in 2013, Spargo served as VP and general merchandise manager for women’s apparel and accessories at Lands’ End Inc. Before that, she held various merchandising roles at Nike Inc. She also worked at The Limited.

“Ivy is a strong leader and a strategic thinker who has a deep specialty retail background and brings with her more than 20 years of retail experience,” stated Steve Lawrence, president and CEO, Francesca’s, which operates 692 stores. “We believe that Ivy’s insights and expertise will enable her to quickly embrace our target customer as she guides the team in consistently delivering a broad and shallow assortment of unique fashion at great value to the Francesca’s customer.”

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GameStop CEO steps down due to illness

BY Marianne Wilson

GameStop has tapped a company veteran to serve as interim chief executive.

GameStop Corp. on Tuesday announced it has named executive chairman Daniel DeMatteo as interim CEO. He replaces J. Paul Raines, who is seeking medical treatment after a reoccurrence of a previously disclosed illness. Raines, who was named chief executive of GameStop in 2010, had a cancerous tumor removed from his brain in 2014.

DeMatteo, one of GameStop’s co-founders, will continue to serve as executive chairman and director. He has served as the company’s CEO and in a variety of other executive and board roles since 1996.

“We continue to send our best wishes and strong support to Paul and his family,” DeMatteo said. “The board of directors has tremendous confidence in GameStop’s executives and the management team’s ability to effectively run the business with the board’s support.”

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Home Depot exec to head up tech at sporting goods giant

BY Marianne Wilson

Dick’s Sporting Goods has named Paul Gaffney as chief technology officer, effective Nov. 20.

Gaffney joins Dick’s from The Home Depot, where he most recently served as the senior VP of information technology. He was responsible for the organization’s software engineering, user-centered design and applications, and for leading their digital revolution, inspiring the engineering team to deliver customer focused software. At Home Depot, Gaffney will be responsible for the company’s technology, including infrastructure, e-commerce platforms and new and evolving digital platforms.

“Paul is joining the company at a critical time as we’re evolving every day through our digital transformation efforts,” said Edward W. Stack, chairman & CEO. “Paul’s experience will make an immediate impact on the company and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the Dick’s family.”

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