Chutes & Ladders: CEO of TJX Companies and Ann Inc. step down

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 Allison Moon and we will feature the news here at the end of each week.

The TJX Companies announced a CEO succession plan that involves Carol Meyrowitz (left), current chairman and CEO, transitioning to executive chairman of the board, effective Jan. 31, 2016. Ernie Herrman, current president of TJX, will retain that title and also become CEO and director. Meyrowitz, who was CEO for the past nine years, entered a three-year agreement as executive chairman and will remain active in TJX's executive management team. She will advise Herrman on the company's long-term growth initiatives and strategy. Herrman has been president of TJX since 2011 and started at the company in 1989. Press Release


> Kay Krill (left) transitioned from president and CEO of Ann Inc. to a member of Ascena Retail Group's board of directors. Gary Muto, president of Ann brands, will succeed Krill as CEO of Ann. Krill joined Ann Taylor in 1994 and was responsible for the creation of the Loft brand, becoming president in 2001. Loft became a $1.5 billion business under her leadership. She served as CEO of Ann since 2005. Muto joined Ann in 2008 as president of the Loft brand and became president of the Ann brands in 2014. He also launched the Lou & Grey brand in 2013. Prior to Ann, Muto was president of various Gap brands. Press Release

AutoZone announced three internal executive promotions. Mark Finestone was promoted from senior VP of merchandising and store development to exec-VP of merchandising, supply chain and marketing. Bill Graves, former senior VP of supply chain and international, will now be exec-VP of Mexico, Brazil, IMC and store development. Lastly, Tom Newbern was promoted from senior VP of store operations and loss prevention to exec-VP of store operations, commercial and loss prevention. Press Release

Discount general merchandise retailer Fred's hired John Foley, former corporate operations VP at Walgreens, as exec-VP of store operations. He is replacing Mike Holligan, who is taking the regional VP of store operations position. Foley was at Walgreens for more than 25 years, starting as store manager for 11 years and then district manager for six years. As corporate operations VP, he was responsible for the eastern division, which accounted for $200 billion in revenue and included more than 2,500 retail pharmacies, health care clinics and specialty pharmacy units. Press Release

Starbucks appointed Gerri Martin-Flickinger as chief technology officer, effective Nov. 2. Martin-Flickinger joins Starbucks from Adobe, where she served as senior VP and CTO, overseeing Adobe's global information technology team. At Starbucks, Martin-Flickinger will lead the global IT function and play a key role in creating the technology agenda, moving the company into the next phase of innovation and growth. She will report to Kevin Johnson, Starbucks' president and COO. Martin-Flickinger played a key role in transforming Adobe to a cloud-based business, and has served as CIO at VeriSign, Network Associates and McAfee Associates. Press Release

Sears Holdings hired Sean Skelley as president of home services, responsible for all aspects of the business. He was most recently senior VP of service solutions for Asurion, a global organization that provides protection and support services for electronic devices. Skelley also spent more than 20 years at Best Buy, where he held increasingly senior positions, from stores and merchandising to business development and services. As senior VP of services strategy, he was responsible for the acquisition and nationwide rollout of Geek Squad, building it into a billion dollar global enterprise. Press Release

Tommy Bahama CEO Terry Pillow is retiring on Jan. 30, 2016. Douglas Wood, Tommy Bahama's current president and COO, will succeed Pillow as CEO. Wood joined the company in 2001 as COO and has been president since 2008. He was previously VP of operations at McCaw Cellular/AT&T in the 1990s and started his career at Boeing Defense and Space Group. Pillow, who has been with Tommy Bahama since 2008, will continue to serve in an advisory role. Press Release

> West Coast-inspired specialty retailer Tillys is welcoming Edmond Thomas back to the company as president, CEO and board member, effective Oct. 12. Thomas was Tillys' president and co-CEO from 2005 to 2007. He replaces Daniel Griesemer, who has stepped down from his position as president, CEO and director of the company. From 2007 to 2011, Thomas was CEO and president of The Wet Seal, and returned to the apparel retailer from 2014 to August 2015 as CEO and director. He was also a partner of private investment firm KarpReilly for three years. Press Release

Walmart's CFO Charles Holley is retiring on Dec. 31, 2015 and Brett Biggs, current exec-VP and CFO of Walmart International, will succeed Holley as CFO of Walmart stores. Holley has held the position since December 2010 and joined Walmart in 1994. Prior to Biggs' current role, he was CFO of Walmart U.S. and senior VP of operations at Sam's Club. He joined Walmart in 2000, serving in several financial leadership positions during his 15-year stint at the company. Press Release

Holley's retirement from Walmart is just one in a series of executive moves for the big-box retailer. Steve Bratspies has been appointed to chief merchandising officer for U.S. stores, effective Oct. 19. Bratspies will oversee all merchandise categories across more than 4,500 stores in the U.S. business. He will continue to report to Greg Foran, Walmart U.S. president and CEO. Bratspies most recently served as the exec-VP of food for Walmart U.S. He joined the company in 2005. Charles Redfield has been named exec-VP of food for Walmart U.S. Redfield joined Sam's Club in 1988 as a cashier, and has held several operational and merchandising positions including chief merchandising officer at Asda. Most recently, Redfield served as exec-VP of merchandising at Sam's Club. Additionally, John Furner will serve as exe-VP, merchandising for Sam's Club. Furner was serving as chief merchandising and marketing officer at Walmart China. Press Release