Chutes & Ladders: Target hires new tech execs, German retailer CEO steps down

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good wordor the badfrom your shop to Laura Heller at [email protected] and we will feature it here at the end of each week.


Target announced the addition of three big hires July 7, including Jim Fisher (shown left), the new senior VP of infrastructure and operations and technology services; Alan Wizemann, the new VP of and mobile product; and David Weissman, the new president of the El Segundo, California-based Dermstore, which was newly acquired last year.

The announcement follows a string of recent senior-level staff appointments, including Brad Maiorino, senior VP and chief information security officer, Peter Glsuker, senior VP of new business integration and operations, Kristi Argyilan, senior VP of media and guest management, and Bob DeRodes, the new CIO appointed in late April following a massive customer security breach. The hirings all come in the wake of the resignation of Target CEO, President and Chairman Gregg Steinhafel, who stepped down in early May as part of a mutual decision with board members in response to the massive data breach of nearly 110 million Target customers' credit card information.  Press release


Karstadt CEO Eva Lotta-Sjostedt stepped down on July 7 after only seven months on the job with the German retailer. The struggling European department store said Sjostedt, a former Ikea executive, was trying to bring Karstadt back to profitability after the company was lifted from the throes of bankruptcy in 2010 by billionaire businessman Nicolas Berggruen. Berggruen invested 65 million euros in the chain, which ultimately fell short as retail rival Kaufhof continued to win the majority of the market share, steadily sinking Karstadt back toward a state of insolvency.

Berggruen initially backed Sjostedt in her strategy and investment plan for the company, but she stepped down after determing the conditions necessary for her plan to succeed were absent. Berggruen's rumored refusal to continue funding the unprofitable department store is suspected as the primary reason for Sjostedt's sudden departure, and CFO Miguel Mullenbach and human resources officer Kai-Uwe Weitz will reportedly assume leadership of the retail chain. Story

> Apple recently announced the appointment of Patrick Pruniaux, former VP of sales at Swiss watchmaking company Tag Heuer, to an as of yet unknown position. Pruniaux will be starting with the multibillion dollar tech retailer July 14, and his retail experience is likely to designate him as a high-ranking executive involved with the acclaimed arrival of the iWatch, the first wearable Apple tech accessory expected to debut in the fall. After working seven years for Tag Heuer's, Pruniaux joins a growing number of luxury retail executives Apple has recently taken into the fold, including Burberry's former chief executive, Angela Ahrendts, and Paul Deneve, former head of French fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent. Story

> Interactive multichannel retailer HSN announced the immediate promotion of new HSN president Bill Brand on July 7 from his previous position as chief marketing and business development officer. Brand will maintain his position as CMO of HSNi and will continue to report to HSNi CEO Mindy Grossman. His new duties will include identifying new strategies for company growth as well as heading merchandising, programming, planning and HSN2. The promotion comes at a time when HSNi's net sales and gross profit since the last annual SEC report in 2013 are virtually stagnant, with 1 and 2 percent growth respectively, meaning Brand's position as both CMO and president could signify the company is looking to Brand to make a major change. Press release

The National Retail Federation selected Paul Martino as the new VP and senior policy counsel and hired Beth Provenzano as VP for federal government relations on July 9. The appointments will help address public policy priorities such as data security, payments, mobile and e-commerce, privacy and patent reform. Martino previously worked for the Washington office of national law firm Alston & Bird LLP as partner and co-chair of the firm's privacy and data security practice, and Provenzano has worked for the NRF since 2011 when she began bolstering industry efforts to reform patent litigation. Press Release

Advanced Auto Parts selected former Del Monte Foods executive David Allen as senior VP of supply chain management, a position that includes developing strategies for integrating Advance Auto Parts' supply chain with Carquest, an acquisition gained through the purchase of its parent company, General Parts International by AAP in October of 2013. The buyout yielded assets including nearly 2,500 franchised locations, more than 1,200 of which are Carquest stores. The move effectively pushed AAP past Memphis, Tennessee-based auto retailer AutoZone as the largest auto-parts retailer in North America. Press release

Sears Holdings announced the appointment of Kristin Coleman as the new senior VP, general counsel and corporate secretary on July 7. Coleman will be assuming the same three positions she held previously with the Brunswick corporation and will oversee the leadership of Sears Holdings' legal business unit that encompasses the company's team of paralegals and attorneys, as well as corporate communications, environmental services, global compliance, government affairs, internal audit and product safety. Press release

Stuart Weitzman Holdings announced the introduction of a new position on July 8, one that has already been filled by former David Yurman staffer Monica Schwartz. Schwartz will assume the position of chief global digital and e-commerce officer, granting her full oversight of global e-commerce and digital strategies for the platforms in the United States, Canada, Europe and Hong Kong, in addition to the coming e-commerce website in China. Schwartz assembled and led the e-commerce team at David Yurman and will report directly to CEO Wayne Kulkin where she will work from the company's international headquarters in New York City. Story