Hudson’s Bay Names a New President

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Canada’s Hudson’s Bay department stores has named former Ulta Beauty executive Sophia Hwang-Judiesch as its new president.

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Hwang-Judiesch succeeds Wayne Drummond who will be retiring from Hudson’s Bay, the company indicated in its announcement Monday.

Hwang-Judiesch joins Hudson’s Bay on Sept. 19 and will report to Richard Baker, governor and executive chairman of HBC. She will join The Bay’s executive committee led by Iain Nairn, president and chief executive officer of The Bay.

HBC operates the Hudson’s Bay brick-and-mortar fleet of 84 stores across Canada as well as The Bay e-commerce business, the Saks Fifth Avenue stores, the e-commerce business, Saks Off 5th stores, and the Saks Off 5th e-commerce.

Last year The Bay e-commerce business and the Hudson’s Bay stores split into two businesses. The Bay remains responsible overall for shared functions including brand direction, marketing, buying, planning and technology for both businesses.

Similarly, HBC’s Saks Fifth Avenue and the Saks Off 5th brands split their stores and e-commerce operations into separate businesses.

Most recently, Hwang-Judiesch was vice president of strategic initiatives at Ulta Beauty, where she led the launch of Beauty@Target, with responsibilities for merchandising, operations, e-commerce, supply chain and other functions. Earlier, she was senior vice president at Carter’s Oshkosh, responsible for stores, e-commerce and wholesale. Before Carter’s Oshkosh, Hwang-Judiesch was with Esprit de Corp in China.

HBC officials described Hwang-Judiesch as having “a strong track record of driving growth, market share acquisition, and enhancing the omnichannel customer journey. Working closely with The Bay on the overall Omni Customer, Brand and Platform strategy, she will bring to life the Hudson’s Bay stores component of the strategy, including the execution of the company’s in-store digital selling transformation, customer experience and store optimization.”

“I am excited to return home to Toronto, as I already hold a deep connection and affinity for Hudson’s Bay,” said Hwang-Judiesch. “This is an incredibly exciting time in the industry, when brick and mortar retail is redefining itself. I look forward to building on the transformation already underway at Hudson’s Bay, to elevate and shape the customer journey and drive growth across the business.”

Added Nairn, “We are making incredible strides in technology and digital innovations, and our store organization is critical to the omnichannel experience of our customers.”

Nairn thanked Drummond for “his leadership and dedication over his esteemed 34-year career with HBC,” which included several at the Saks Off 5th division.

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