Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good word—or the bad—from your shop to Laura Heller at [email protected] and we will feature it here at the end of each week.
> Home Depot announced that company president of U.S. retail Craig Menear will succeed Frank Blake as CEO this year. Menear joined Home Depot in 1997 and has 34 years of retail experience. Before being named president of U.S. retail in February, Menear acted as executive VP of merchandising. He has also filled positions for Ikea. Blake, who has been the company's CEO since 2007, will stay on as chairman and relinquish his duties as CEO on Nov. 1.
In 2007 Blake took the top spot from Robert Nardelli, who was criticized for receiving excessive pay at a time when the company was losing market share to Lowe's. Blake steered the retailer through the U.S. housing market crash by slowing new store growth and focusing on increasing sales in existing locations. Press Release
> Apparel retailer Aeropostale announced that Julian Geiger has rejoined the company as CEO, effective immediately. Geiger will continue to serve as a member of the board and Thomas Johnson will step down from his role as CEO and director. Geiger ended his former tenure as CEO in 2010, when Johnson took control of the top spot. Geiger then went on to become president and CEO of Crumbs Bake Shop from 2011 until December 2013. He returned to Aeropostale's board in May, just two months before Crumbs announced the shuttering of all its stores.
Johnson's departure signifies the conclusion of 22 years with the retailer, during which he helped the brand become one of the leading names in teen fashion. He spent more than half of his career assisting the company as it built out from its base of just a few domestic stores to a globalized business. Johnson's departure follows a rocky second quarter for Aeropostale, the closure of 125 mall stores and the elimination of 100 employee positions at the company's headquarters as the retailer tries to cut costs. Story
> Gordmans Stores, the Omaha-based retailer of apparel and home decor, has named Andrew Hall president and CEO. Hall will also be joining the board of directors. Hall has more than 20 years of retail leadership experience. He will succeed T. Scott King, Gordmans' chairman of the board who has been serving as interim president and CEO since March. Hall acted as president and CEO of Stage Stores from 2008 to 2012 before joining Gordmans. The company's former CEO, Jeff Gordman, tendered his resignation with the company's board in late March. Press Release
> Archway, provider of fulfillment services and supply chain management, announced the appointment of Walter Caudill to the position of senior VP of operations on Aug. 18. Caudill will work to initiate comprehensive strategies targeted at accelerating sales growth. He will also be responsible for leading operational strategy, driving excellence in customer experience and service, integrating best practices, standardizing operating procedures, expanding quality control and optimizing labor management and productivity. Press Release
> Intershop, a technology vendor specializing in omnichannel commerce solutions, announced the appointment of e-commerce industry veteran David Ricketts to lead the company's sales organization in North America. Intershop also hired 20-year industry veteran Mike Ensor as VP of technical pre-sales and management services. Ricketts previously acted as senior VP of sales at Insite Software, and Ensor most recently acted as e-commerce practice principal architect at digital agency pioneer Acquity Group. Press Release
> Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen announced the promotion of William Matt as the chicken chain's new CFO in an Aug. 21 company statement. Matt will report to CEO Cheryl Bachelder and oversee the company's finances as well as lead efforts to develop and implement strategies for accelerating long-term growth potential and maximizing shareholder value. Matt most recently acted as COO of La Senza Global, an arm of L Brands, based in Columbus, Ohio. He also spent nine years with KFC/PepsiCo. Press Release
> Lease-to-own retailer Aaron's announced the appointment of Executive VP and CFO Gilbert Danielson to the position of CEO, effective after the retirement of current CEO Ronald Allen on Aug. 31. Danielson will retain his responsibilities as CFO while he fills the interim role. He will not be a candidate for a permanent position as CEO. The Aaron's board announced the search for a new CEO when current CEO Ronald Allen announced his plans to leave the company in early August. Press Release
> McDonald's has named Julia Vander Ploeg its first ever VP of digital in the U.S. as the company continues to build out mobile and social programs. Vander Ploeg will report to McDonald's chief digital officer Atif Rafiq. She will be responsible for the chain's digital strategy, including the enhancement of the restaurant experience with innovative strategies for customer-brand engagement. Story