Chutes & Ladders: DSW CIO becomes CEO; Target vet moves to Whole Foods

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.

DSW has promoted Roger Rawlins, exec-VP and chief innovation officer, to CEO, effective Jan. 1. He will succeed Michael MacDonald, who is retiring from DSW and the board of directors. Rawlins has been with DSW for nearly 10 years, starting as senior VP and controller and later as senior VP and general manager of e-commerce. Before becoming CIO in January, Rawlins was exec-VP of omnichannel. Prior to DSW, he was CFO as HER Realtors for five years and controller at Express for nearly 3 years. Rawlins started his retail career at L Brands, first as an internal auditor, then accounting manager and eventually director of corporate finance. Story


Whole Foods Market named Don Clark as global VP of purchasing for non-perishables, responsible for growth of the business, supplier relationships, inventory and category management, and expansion of the exclusive brands program. Clark joins Whole Foods after a 14-year stint at Target. He was most recently VP of merchandising for the perishables and food service division. Clark was involved in Target's recent efforts to transform its grocery business. Prior to that role, Clark oversaw the expansion of the merchandise planning and presentation capabilities in Target's Bangalore, India, office for its U.S. stores and business.  Story

99 Cents Only Stores appointed Felicia Thornton as CFO, replacing interim CFO Michael Fung, who will return to his position as board member and head of the board's audit committee. Fung has served as interim CFO since late June when Bradley Lukow resigned from the company. Effective immediately, Thornton is now responsible for overseeing finance, accounting, treasury, risk management, legal and IT functions. Thornton most recently served as co-CEO, president and COO of supermarket chain DSM, Inc. She was also CFO at Alberstons for more than five years. Her career began at Ralphs and Fred Meyer, which both became a part of Kroger, where she spent a total of eight years with these companies in various executive and financial roles. Story

Not one month after a round of executive changes, AutoZone announced four additional internal promotions. Phil Daniele was promoted from VP of commercial support to senior VP of commercial. The current VP of merchandise pricing and analysis, Bill Hackney, is now senior VP of merchandising position. Jim Griffith, formerly VP of store development, was promoted to senior VP of store operations. Lastly, Rod Halsell was promoted from VP of distribution to senior VP of supply chain. Story

Costco has added two new board members, Maggie Wilderotter and John Stanton, both with background in telecommunications. Wilderotter is the executive chairman of Frontier Communications and was the formerly the president and CEO of Frontier for 10 years. She also served in leadership positions at Microsoft, Wink Communications, AT&T and McCaw Cellular. Stanton is chairman of Trilogy International Partners and Trilogy Equity Partners. Most recently, he was a director of Clearwire Corp. from 2008 to 2013 and chairman between 2011 and 2013. Story

L.L. Bean named Stephen Smith as its new president and CEO. Smith will replace Chris McCormick, who is retiring at the end of February 2016 after 14 years leading the company. Smith will be the fourth president in L.L. Bean's history and is the first president hired from outside the company or the founding family. He was most recently chief merchandising and marketing officer at Yihaodian, a Chinese e-commerce retailer recently acquired by Walmart. He was previously with Walmart, where he served as senior VP of Walmart International, chief customer officer of Asada, chief marketing officer of Asda and Walmart China, and senior VP for new formats of Sam's Club in China. Prior to Walmart, Smith spent nearly 10 years in leadership positions at Delhaize Group across several banners. Story

Lumber Liquidators appointed John Presley as CEO, effective Nov. 16. He succeeds the company's founder, Thomas Sullivan, who has been acting CEO since May 2015. Sullivan will serve as special advisor to the CEO and reamin on the board as founder. Nancy Taylor, previously Lumber Liquidators' director, will fill Presley's former role of independent chairman of the board and head of the special committee. Presley has more than 30 years of leadership experience, most recently CEO of First Capital Bancorp, and has served in several CEO and CFO roles at public companies. Press Release 

> Sam's Club made moves in its merchandising leadership team, separating its food and beverage businesses into two divisions, as the wholesale club implements its reinvention plan. Toby Noiles was hired as senior VP, general merchandise manager of grocery and beverage. She was most recently chief merchandising officer at FreshDirect and spent 29 years prior in management roles at Safeway. In addition, Bryant Harris, senior VP and general merchandise manager of food and beverage, will fill a newly created role—general manager of fresh. Reporting to Harris will be the VPs and directors of freezer/cooler, produce, fresh operations, café and bakery. Story