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More changes at J.Jill

BY Marianne Wilson

J.Jill has begun the hunt for a new finance head.

The women’s apparel retailer announced that executive VP and CFO Dave Biese will leave the company on April 30, 2019. It’s the second big executive change for the company, whose CEO Paula Bennett retired in April. She was replaced by Linda Heasley, the former CEO of Lane Bryant

J.Jill has retained executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to help it find a new CFO. No reason was given for the departure of Biese, who helped to take the company public in 2017.

“I would like to thank Dave for his commitment to J.Jill over his long tenure with the company,” said Heasley. “He was a key member of our executive team and played a pivotal role in building J.Jill into a prominent omnichannel retailer while leading our finance and operations teams.”

J.Jill operates more than 270 stores nationwide.

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C-store chain names first-ever COO

BY Marianne Wilson

Sheetz has made some changes to its executive organization.

The fast-growing, family-owned convenience store chain announced that executive VP of operations Travis Sheetz is advancing into the role of president and COO. He is the first COO in the 66-year history of the company. His brother, Joe Sheetz, will remain Sheetz’s CEO.

“The role of COO requires great business acumen, while also being in touch with our employees and our customers,” Joe Sheetz said. “Instrumental in driving record store sales while also ensuring a culture of total customer focus, Travis’ leadership will be invaluable in this new role.”

Sheetz also named Adam Sheetz, grandson of founder Bob Sheetz, and representing the company’s third generation, as its new VP of operations.

Based in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sheetz, operates over 580 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.

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Fast-fashion retailer makes a big commitment to inclusion

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

H&M has named its first head of inclusion & diversity for North America.

The fast-fashion company has appointed Ezinne Kwubiri for the newly created position. H&M created the new inclusion & diversity role to find ways to make an impact and further ensure that inclusion and diversity occurs at all levels, and in all areas of the talent lifecycle in its North American operations.

Kwubiri will work closely with Annie Wu, the company’s global leader of diversity and inclusiveness. However, she will report to the new president of H&M North America, Martino Pessina. Pessina, a 17-year veteran who has held a variety of leadership roles at H&M, including business controller and heading up global sales and expansion, oversees over 700 North American locations and more than 18,000 employees. He became president of H&M’s North America operations in September.

In her new role, Kwubiri will develop and implement a transformative strategy to make H&M an even more inclusive and diverse company in North America. She will lead the charge in how H&M thinks about, acts on, and achieves inclusion and diversity.

This includes, but is not limited to, championing key inclusion and diversity differentiators in the organization’s ability to attract, develop, retain and promote the best talent throughout North America. She must also ensure H&M’s global inclusion and diversity philosophy is fully-realized through an operationalized strategy, and consistent and regular evaluation of transparent results that enable the organization to hold itself accountable, track, measure and communicate its progress.

Prior to joining H&M, Kwubiri spent 11 years at Viacom in various roles, including operations and change management.

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