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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Tailored Brands names new chief digital officer as it bolsters tech leadership team

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Tailored Brands has appointed two new leaders who will focus on applying data to business strategies.

The parent company of such brands as Men’s Wearhouse and Jos.A. Bank named Samantha Lee as senior VP, chief digital officer. She will report to Bruce Thorn, president and COO.

Lee joined Tailored Brands in 2015 as VP, site management and customer experience, and is currently senior VP, customer experience. Previously, she was senior director of e-commerce and customer experience at Bebe Stores, and director of e-commerce and online marketing for Sanrio.

Lee’s appointment coincides with the departure of Ben Baum, executive VP, customer experience and chief digital officer. He is leaving to pursue another role.

In addition, Tailored Brands tapped Richard Hansen as senior VP, strategy and analytics. He will report to Doug Ewert, the company’s CEO.

Most recently, Hansen served as VP, customer insights and analytics, for Walmart, where he was responsible for marketing and customer analytics, and customer research for Walmart’s U.S. stores and e-commerce business. He joined Walmart in 2016 as VP, strategy, planning and analytics for Walmart’s e-commerce business.

Prior to Walmart, Hansen was VP, planning and analytics for online home décor company One Kings Lane, after serving in a wide range of leadership positions across analytics, operating and product management at eBay Inc.

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