Industry Moves: The Latest Executive Changes at Happy Socks, Balmain, Wolverine + More

FN Staff
·6 min read

Who’s in, who’s out, who’s been promoted and hired — FN covers all the industry changes in one place. Know of an executive on the move? Tell us

Jan. 11, 2021: Happy Socks has promoted Emil Viklund to the role of CEO. He took over the post on Jan. 1, succeeding Steven Gardener, who led the company starting September 2019 and will remain as an advisor until March. In a statement, board chairman Christian Beck said, “In his work as a CFO, [Viklund] has proven that he will bring a great mix of leadership, operational experience and passion for innovation to the role.” Viklund, who has held the CFO post since December 2019, will continue to oversee the financial department until Happy Socks appoints a new finance chief.

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Jan. 11, 2021: Balmain has named Matthieu Petri as its chief commercial officer. In his new role, he is expected to lead the fashion house’s commercial strategy, reporting directly to CEO Jean-Jacques Guével. He joins the fashion house from jeweler Chaumet, where he served as retail director of its European business. Before that, he worked in strategy and project management at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Jan. 8, 2021: Calvin Klein has appointed Jamaal Layne as EVP of Global Brand and North America Marketing, effective Jan. 11. Most recently, he served as head of entertainment marketing at Sonos, where he established the company’s celebrity and influencer marketing initiatives and oversaw partnerships with licensee and streaming partners. Prior to Sonos, he held key marketing positions at Adidas, Converse, Nike and Microsoft, as well as consulted for brands like Carhartt, Stussy and Forever 21. At Calvin Klein, Jamaal will report to CMO Linh Peters.

Jan 8, 2021: Native Shoes has elevated Kyle Houseman to the position of CEO, effective immediately. He previously served as president of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based brand. Houseman succeeds former CEO Scott Hawthorne, who is now stepping into the role of executive chairman. Prior to joining Native Shoes, Houseman was an executive with Lululemon, where he helped grow its e-commerce channel from $50 million to over $260 million.

Jan 5, 2021: Wolverine World Wide has named Jim Zwiers — a 23-year company veteran — as president of its global operations group, succeeding Mike Jeppesen, who is set to retire. Zwiers will concurrently serve as president of its international group, a position he has held since 2014, and will remain both an EVP and member of its executive leadership team. Meanwhile, Wolverine also announced the appointment of Matt Blonder as president of global e-commerce. Blonder joins Wolverine from Reebok, where he most recently served as its global head of digital.

Jan. 5, 2021: Macy’s Inc. has promoted Nata Dvir to the role of chief merchandising officer of the Macy’s brand, starting Feb. 1. She currently serves as the department store’s SVP and general business manager for beauty and center core merchandise and replaces Patti Ongman, who previously revealed plans to retire at the end of the 2020 fiscal year. In her new role, Dvir will have oversight of all merchandising categories and private brands within Macy’s. She will report to chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette.

Jan. 5, 2021: Sandro and Maje parent SMCP Group has named Patricia Huyghues Despointes as CFO. She joins from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, where she spent more than 15 years and was most recently the administrative and financial director of Givenchy. She also led the financial controlling team at the group’s fashion and leather goods branch, overseeing about 15 brands. Along with her role, Despointes also becomes a member of the SMCP executive committee.

Jan. 4, 2021: J.M. Weston has appointed a new president. According to an exclusive from FN’s sister publication WWD, Marc Durie succeeds Thierry Oriez, who departed the luxury shoemaker to pursue new projects. He reports to Valérie Hermann, president of the fashion and luxury division of private investment firm EPI, which includes J.M. Weston and Bonpoint. Durie had served as the global head of the men’s shoe division and CRM department at Christian Louboutin since September 2016. He began his career at Louis Vuitton, where he was a product manager for men’s shoes. He held the post of VP of merchandising, Asia-Pacific, at the French fashion house from 2011 to 2013 then was president of J. Mendel from 2013 to 2016.

Big Executive Moves Last Month

Dec. 17, 2020: MatchesFashion has promoted Natalie Kingham to the newly created role of global fashion officer. The executive has spent a decade at the London-based global luxury retailer, where she served as international womenswear buyer as well as fashion and buying director. In the post, Kingham is expected to “define and lead the fashion point of view” for the company to better engage with its global customer base. She will report to Elizabeth von der Goltz, who was named chief commercial officer last month.

Dec. 9, 2020: The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America has added eight new industry executives to its board of directors as part of its “effort to reinvigorate” the Fashion Footwear Association of New York. The members who were approved at its virtual board meeting include: Converse global footwear VP Brandis Russell; Jimmy Choo president Tanya Golesic; Marc Fisher Footwear president Susan Itzkowitz; Target director of global sourcing Keli Lerdal; Nordstrom EVP and GMM of shoes Tacey Powers; Pentland North America president Carrie Rubin; White Mountain chief revenue officer Robert Geller; and Jones & Vining president and CEO Jim Salzano. “These new board members will enhance our mission in support of our efforts to remake market weeks and work more closely together across categories and channels, reinvigorating the industry in 2021 and beyond,” said FDRA chairman Mike Jeppesen, who is the president of global operations at Wolverine Worldwide.

Dec. 3, 2020: According to multiple reports, Todd Spaletto, most recently the president of Wolverine World Wide Inc.’s Michigan Group, will become the president of Public Lands, the new outdoor retail store format of Dick’s Sporting Goods that is set to launch in 2021. The executive’s LinkedIn now includes the president of Public Lands role as well as SVP of Dick’s Sporting Goods. In April, he and Wolverine mutually agreed that he would resign, effective on or before May 30. An SEC filing on April 17 stated Spaletto’s departure “is not based on any disagreement with the company relating to its operations, policies or practices.” Prior to Wolverine, Spaletto held several roles at The North Face over a 14-year period, ending his tenure at the company as its global president in 2017.

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