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L Brands vet, leader of Pink, to retire

BY Marianne Wilson

The woman who helped build L Brands’ Victoria’s Secret Pink into a nearly $3 billion brand is stepping down.

Denise Landman, CEO of Victoria’s Secret Pink, has made the decision to retire at the end of this year after some 20 years at L Brands. She will be succeeded by Amy Hauk, currently president for merchandising and product development of L Brands’ Bath & Body Works unit.

Hauk joined Bath & Body Works in 2008 as senior VP, general merchandise manager. Prior to that, she held senior merchant leadership positions at The Children’s Place, The Disney Store, Gap, and Macy’s. Landman will remain in the business through the end of the year to onboard Hauk and facilitate the transition.

“I’m grateful to Denise for leading the growth of the PINK business and building such a strong high-performance team,” said Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and CEO, L Brands. “Denise has always been a curious student of the business, focused on the customer and driven by her entrepreneurial spirit.”

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Ashok Walia
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Starbucks’ vet joins 99 Cents Only Stores exec team

BY Marianne Wilson

99 Cents Only Stores has named a new finance head.

The deep-discounter appointed Ashok (Ash) Walia as CFO, effective August 27, 2018. He will succeed Felicia Thornton, who will continue in her position as vice chair of the board of the company’s parent, Number Holdings.

Most recently, Wallis served as senior VP of corporate finance at Starbucks Corp., where he was responsible for leading corporate finance with a focus on controllership, treasury, post M&A integration, global tax and customs as well as U.S. facilities management. Prior to that, he was Starbucks’ senior VP of global integrated logistics/supply chain business operations.

Prior to his roles at Starbucks, Walia held positions of increasing responsibility at the Kellogg Company culminating as global VP, finance.

“Ash has decades of highly relevant experience at prominent multinational consumer companies, where his expertise in finance, operations, logistics and supply chain management contributed to significant improvements to operational efficiencies and bottom-line profitability,” said Jack Sinclair, CEO, 99 Cents Only Stores, which operates 388 stores located in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

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Executive shake-up at J.Jill

BY Marianne Wilson

J.Jill’s new CEO is shaking up the company’s leadership team with the addition of two veteran executives.

The women’s apparel retailer appointed Brian Beitler as executive VP, chief marketing and brand development officer, and Shelley Liebschj as senior VP, chief merchandising officer.

Both were appointed by J.Jill CEO Linda Heasley, who took the reins of the company in April. They will begin their new roles in September.

Beitler is the former chairman of the board for the Global Retail Marketing Association (GRMA). He previously held executive VP and chief marketing officer positions for both Lane Bryant and Catherines, as well as David’s Bridal. Beitler has also held senior marketing roles at other top retailers, including Kohl’s, Bath & Body Works, and Toys “R” Us.

Prior to joining J.Jill, Liebsch held senior VP of merchandising and design positions at Destination Maternity, where she led three diverse merchandising and design teams. She has also held senior merchandiser and buyer roles at Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, InStyle Magazine, and Bloomingdale’s.

“I am thrilled to introduce both Brian and Shelley to J.Jill’s senior leadership team,” said Heasley. “Both individuals will be tremendous assets to our already strong team and I look forward to continuing to delight current and new customers as we further grow and evolve the J.Jill brand.”

Prior to joining J.Jill in April, Heasley was CEO of the Honey Baked Ham Company. Previously, she served as CEO and president of Lane Bryant, from 2013 to 2017, and is widely credited with revitalizing the brand.

Heasley also served as the chairman, president and CEO at Limited Stores from 2007 to 2013. She previously held senior leadership roles at CVS Health Corporation, Timberland LLC, Bath and Body Works and L Brands.

J.Jill operates more than 270 stores nationwide and an e-commerce platform.

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