Chutes & Ladders: Weis Markets' legend dies at 96; Abercrombie hires VP of diversity

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.

Robert Weis, former chairman of Weis Markets, died at age 96. He is credited with driving the growth and continued success of Weis Markets, a 103-year-old business started by his father, Harry Weis, and uncle, Sigmund Weis. After opening the first store, Weis Pure Foods, in 1912, the brothers opened stores throughout central Pennsylvania over several years. Early in his career, Weis worked in nearly every department of the family business, including operations, distribution, marketing, procurement, human resources, real estate and store construction. Weis Markets became a publicly traded company in 1965 and is listed on the New York stock exchange today. Following the IPO, Weis was instrumental in the company's expansion into six states and become chairman in 1995. In the 1990s, Sigmund Weis' heirs attempted to force a sale of Weis Markets, resulting in a multi-year dispute that ended in 2001. During this time, Weis directed a repurchase of the heirs' stock and became the company's largest shareholder. Story


Abercrombie & Fitch hired Jeanetta Darno as VP of diversity and inclusion, responsible for enhancing global diversity and inclusion best practices. She will report to John Gabrielli, senior VP and head of human resources. Darno was most recently at Huntington National Bank, where she was also senior VP of diversity and inclusion. She spent seven years at Nationwide Insurance as associate VP of talent management, helping the company to earn recognition as a "Great Place to Work" by Fortune. Earlier in her career, Darno was director of diversity and inclusion at Cardinal Health, director of human resources at H.E.B, and division manager of logistics recruiting at Walmart. Darno also plays an active role in her community. She is a founding member of both the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium and the Women's Leadership Council, as well as a Key Club member at the United Way of Central Ohio.  Story

Gap appointed a former employee and veteran of the apparel industry to its board of directors. Tracy Gardner will join the board effective Nov. 11. Gardner began her career at Gap in 1991 and served in creative roles across the Gap and Banana Republic brands for three years. In 1998, she returned to Gap and was head of adult merchandising from 2002 to 2004. For six years following her time at Gap, Gardner held several leadership roles at J.Crew, including as president of retail and direct. She has also been an independent consultant for both startups and well-known brands, and was CEO of teen retailer Delia's from 2013 to 2014. Gardner has previously served in advisory roles for Gap, including in 2012 when she worked with CEO Art Peck to lead a product and business resurgence. In 2015, she also advised and supported the Gap brand's new leadership team, led by brand president Jeff Kirwan. Story

Lululemon has made several significant changes to the top of its organization in attempt to unify the brand, including both men's and women's products, "under a single creative vision," according to the company. First, Lee Holman was promoted from senior VP of women's to the newly created position of exec-VP and creative director, effective immediately. He will now lead both men's and women's product design and report directly to Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin. With Holman responsible for creative and product design, the chief product officer position, currently held by Tara Poseley, is being eliminated. Poseley will be leaving the company after a transition period. Tom Waller was promoted from VP of Whitespace (Lululemon's team of scientists and engineers) to senior VP of Whitespace, and will now report directly to Potdevin. Lastly, Lululemon CFO Stuart Haselden will add exec-VP of operations to his responsibilities. The company is seeking candidates for a newly created operations position, chief supply chain officer, who would report to Haselden. Story