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.
> Sears Canada CEO Douglas Campbell has resigned after just one year at the retailer's helm. Campbell will return to the United States by the end of this calendar year to tend to personal family issues, according to a company statement. Sears Canada has launched a search for a new CEO. Campbell will remain in his role until a replacement is found, but not later than Jan. 1, 2015.
The future of Sears Holdings' northern operation remains unclear. An auction for the majority stake in Sears Canada proved to be a bust and failed to attract any bids—a key factor in forcing Sears Holdings, parent company of Sears and Kmart, to take out a $400 million loan from company chairman Eddie Lampert. Press Release
> Luxury apparel brand Tory Burch announced the hiring of Ralph Lauren's COO Roger Farah as its new co-CEO on Sept. 25. Farah will act alongside current CEO Tory Burch as they establish an "Executive Directors Office" for the company. The EDO is intended to bring together Brigitte Kleine, Robert Isen and Farah as they manage the company's 136 worldwide stores with Burch.
Farah previously spent 14 years at Ralph Lauren as president and COO. He joined Ralph Lauren from Venator Group in 2000. While there, he acted as chairman and CEO from 1994 until 2000. He also previously acted as president and COO of Macy's, and chairman and CEO of Federated Merchandising Services and Rich's Department Stores. Press Release
> Wet Seal announced on Sept. 25 the appointment of Jon Kubo to the position of executive VP and chief digital officer, a newly created position. Kubo, who joined the company in early October, will be charged with oversight of e-commerce, digital marketing and information technology organization as the company aims to integrate its digital consumer experience across all touch points. Kubo returns to Wet Seal after a successful tenure with the company from 2005 to 2011, during which time the company's e-commerce sales reached their all-time highest volume. Press Release
> A recent shift in a LinkedIn profile description suggests that Iain Kennedy, the six-year veteran of Amazon's product management for the company's domestic commerce efforts, has left for Microsoft. Kennedy oversaw Amazon's product management team as it worked on a new set of products intended to renovate common payment methods. The products include a new digital wallet app for smartphones and a rumored digital money-transfer service. The company announced earlier this month that it would be retiring the unpopular WebPay service. Story
> Gordon Brothers Group announced on Sept. 24 the promotion of Frank Grimaldi to national sales manager of the firm's valuation and advisory services division, effective Oct. 1. Grimaldi will lead business development efforts for the VAS division, assuming many of the duties usually delegated to its co-president, Steve Sigel—who will be retiring at year's end after 12 years on the job. Grimaldi previously worked in the asset-based lending industry, where he oversaw work-out situations and business development initiatives. Press Release
> Haggar Clothing announced on Sept. 22 the appointment of Eve Richey as chief digital officer. Richey's role became effective Sept. 15. She will be responsible for the design, development and implementation of digital commerce solutions. She will report directly to Michael Stitt, CEO of Haggar. Richey has 14 years of experience developing and executing omnichannel strategies, as well as implementing e-commerce solutions for brands such as Toms and Dell. She most recently acted as VP of global digital marketing for Toms Shoes. Press Release
> REI announced the appointment of Annie Zipfel as senior VP of marketing, a move that follows the recent promotions of Julie Averill as VP of information technology and Mark Stoddard as VP of planning, inventory and operations. Zipfel oversees the company's marketing and advertising campaigns, digital engagement, membership program and customer insight efforts. She joined REI in 2012 as divisional VP of customer marketing and was named VP of the marketing division in 2014. Averill has more than 25 years of technology experience and served as the interim vice president for the past two months. Stoddard, hired as the end result of a nationwide search, is assuming the newly created role of VP of planning, inventory management and operations after acting as VP of merchandise planning and allocation for specialty clothing retailer Catherines. Press Release