Chutes & Ladders: Alibaba names new CEO, Lululemon pioneer resigns

Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good wordor the badfrom your shop to Drew Woolley at [email protected] and we will feature it here at the end of each week.


> Alibaba Group announced that CEO Jonathan Lu will be stepping down from his post and replaced by COO Daniel Zhang (left). The change became effective May 10 and Lu will remain with the company's board as vice chairman. Zhang is an eight-year veteran of the company, having previously served in several management positions. He became COO in September 2013 and was responsible for the operation of Alibaba Group businesses worldwide. He was also behind the company's November 11 Singles Day event, which the company purports to be the largest online shopping event in the world. Lu oversaw Alibaba's record $25 billion IPO in September, but the company has since lost more than $70 billion in market value. Story  


> Lululemon announced that Delaney Schweitzer, executive VP of global retail, is resigning from her position effective May 29. Schweitzer was one of the pioneers at the company, beginning her career there in 2002 and helping to grow the retailer from a single store in Canada to the chain of more than 300 locations around the world today. "After more than a decade of my life dedicated to Lululemon, I feel it is now time for me to move on," she said in a statement. "I firmly believe Lululemon's stores and educators are the best in retail, and I remain excited about all that Lululemon will accomplish in the next 10 years." Press release


> Albert Boscov has retired as CEO of Boscov's Department Store at the age of 85, leaving the company in the hands of his nephew, Jim Boscov. Jim will continue to serve as vice chairman and marks the third successive generation of the Boscov family to lead the privately owned business, founded more than 100 years ago. Albert led the company from near-collapse six years ago during the Great Recession, rejuvenating the retailer by adding a store every year and stimulating roughly $1 billion in annual sales, reported The Morning Call. Earlier this year he announced his intention to hand the reigns over to his nephew. Story

> Bonobos Inc. CEO Andy Dunn announced that he is stepping down from his role and will be replaced by Francine Della Badia. Della Badia was most recently president of North America for Coach's retail business. She joined the company in 1999 and held other roles in merchandising before her transition to retail. She has also worked with Victoria's Secret, J.Crew and Gap. Dunn will continue to be involved with the business as a partner to Della Badia. He will also lead the board and act as the company's spokesman. Story

> Haverty's has promoted Tim Simpson to assistant VP of IT development. Simpson joined the company in 2005 as a senior java developer before becoming senior team manager in 2008. Since 2011 he has acted as director of development. In his new role he will be tasked with overseeing the architecture and development of Haverty's systems, including sales, website and intranet. Before joining the company, Simpson held various consulting roles in the health care industry and at Accenture. Story

> Panera Bread Company has named Drew Madsen as its new president, effective May 11. He will report to Chairman and CEO Ron Shaich and oversee the core cafe business, allowing Shaich to focus his attention on strategy, growth initiatives and innovation. Madsen was previously president and COO of Darden Restaurants, serving in that role for nine years. He also acted as president and VP of marketing for Darden's Olive Garden. Ken Koziol also joined Panera as executive VP on April 27 and will be responsible for a range of cafe support functions. He comes to the company from McDonald's, where he was executive VP, worldwide chief restaurant officer. Press release

> Weis Markets announced the appointment of Richard Gunn as senior VP of merchandising and marketing. He will be responsible for the company's fresh and center store merchandising, sales, procurement, marketing and advertising. He will report to COO Kurt Schertle. Gunn has more than 30 years of experience in food retail, having previously served as executive VP of merchandising and marketing at K-VA-T Food Stores. Before that, he held various store and regional positions prior to his transition into marketing and merchandising. Press release