Chutes & Ladders: JCPenney CMO leaves, Joe Fresh founder steps 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 Drew Woolley at [email protected] and we will feature it here at the end of each week.


> JCPenney has parted ways with chief marketing officer Debra Berman, effective immediately. Current VP of marketing strategy Kirk Waidelich will take charge of customer strategy, media and marketing integration, while VP of marketing strategy Lynne Barton will see to creative, production and operations, publicity and partnerships, until the company names a replacement. Berman became senior VP of marketing at JCPenney in August 2013 and was promoted to the role of CMO last year. She previously worked with Kraft Foods Group as VP of marketing strategy and engagement. One of her first acts as CMO at JCPenney was the introduction of a new agency team, including Doner, EVB and Victors and Spoils. Last fall, the company started making moves toward a media agency review, suggesting those marketing efforts may not have performed as well as expected. Story


> Loblaw has confirmed that Joe Fresh founder Joe Mimran will leave the brand and pass control to current president Mario Grauso (left). The 62-year-old designer was brought on to create the brand following Walmart Canada's launch of its own clothing brand, George, a line that came from the retailer's British division, Asda. Joe Fresh debuted in 2006 to immediate success and only improved when the line expanded to include children's and baby clothing the following year. Grauso has been being groomed for the position since joining the company in 2013 to help the brand expand internationally, and Mimran told the Financial Post he is confident in the future. Story

> Five Below announced that it has added two members to its board of directors: Kathleen Barclay and Catherine Buggeln. Both roles became effective March 10. Barclay has more than 35 years of human resources experience and is currently senior VP of human resources for Kroger, where she has built the retailer's HR infrastructure, helped drive technology, and better aligned organizational improvement with the grocer's business strategy. Before joining Kroger, Barclay was at General Motors for 25 years, acting in several HR roles before being named VP of global human resources and General Motors University. Buggeln comes to Five Below with more than 30 years of retail experience. She is currently on the board for Vitamin Shoppe and Ascena Retail Group, as well as for Noble Biomaterials, and is co-chair of nonprofit Bpeace. She was previously senior VP of strategy and business development for Coach, where she was responsible for creating and leading strategies to get into new markets and categories. Story

> Kroger announced that Joe Grieshaber will take over as president of the retailer's Columbus Division, succeeding Bruce Macaulay, who will retire after 42 years with the company. Grieshaber is no Kroger rookie either, having joined the retailer in 1983 as a store management trainee in Nashville, Tennessee. He served as a meat merchandiser, district manager and VP of merchandising for the Columbus division before being named group VP of perishables merchandising and procurement in 2003. He has been president of the Dillons brand since 2010. Press release  

> Location-based mobile commerce platform Retale announced that Ryan Craver has joined its advisory board. Craver is currently head of emerging brands, license and digital strategy for Lamour Group's global brand roster. Before that, he was senior VP and chief of staff for the department store group at Hudson's Bay, where he was responsible for building relationships and alliances throughout the company's portfolio and leading core department store strategy for Lord & Taylor. He also served in executive roles for six years at Accenture, tasked with promoting growth and profit improvement for clients such as FedEx, Virgin Media and Best Buy. Story