Leadership changes in the retail industry

E.A. Hughes & Co. Places Chief Merchandising Officer at JCPenney

E.A. Hughes & Co. is pleased to announce our partnership with JCPenney in placing Michelle Wlazlo as their new Chief Merchandising Officer.

As seen on JCPenney Newsroom February 28, 2019.

PLANO, Texas – (Feb. 28, 2019) – J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) today announced the appointment of three highly talented leaders who will play an instrumental role in the Company’s pursuit of operational excellence and sustainable profitable growth.

Effective March 1, Michelle Wlazlo will join the Company as executive vice president, chief merchant, reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney. Wlazlo brings 30 years of merchandising and stores experience to JCPenney from a variety of respected apparel and accessory retailers. Most recently she served as senior vice president of apparel and accessories merchandising at Target Corporation where she helped lead the company’s strategy and implementation of a robust merchandising program that included transforming the presentation of 1,400 stores and launching 15 new private brands.

Prior to Target, Wlazlo spent 19 years at GAP, Inc. in a variety of roles, most recently as senior vice president GAP global merchandising across all brand divisions including women’s, men’s, kids, baby, body and fit. Over the course of nearly two decades, she held multiple merchandising roles of increasing responsibility for Gap, Gap Outlet and Old Navy. She began her career at Saks Fifth Avenue as a department manager before assuming store leadership and buying roles at Bebe Stores, Inc.

Among those reporting to Wlazlo include Jodie Johnson, senior vice president, general merchandise manager for women’s apparel and interim general merchandise manager for home; Angela Swanner, senior vice president, general merchandise manager for center core, which includes salon and Sephora inside JCPenney; Jeff Useforge, senior vice president, general merchandise manager for men’s and children’s; and Val Harris, senior vice president, product design and development.

The Company also announced that it has filled two additional key senior executive positions:
• John Welling will join the Company on Feb. 28 as senior vice president, planning & allocation, reporting to Therace Risch, executive vice president, chief information officer and chief digital officer. Welling brings over 25 years of experience in retail and consulting, most recently serving as senior vice president of merchandise operations for The Michaels Companies where he led planning, pricing, inventory management and merchandise finance. Prior to The Michaels Companies, he spent over a decade at Walmart serving in executive positions of increasing responsibility, and was a partner at Accenture for their North American retail practice.

• Mark Stinde will join the Company on March 4 as senior vice president, asset protection, reporting to Mike Robbins, executive vice president, chief stores and supply chain officer. Stinde has over 23 years experience in loss prevention and store operations, and is a leading retail expert in asset protection, safety and security. He has a proven track record of significantly reducing shrink levels at leading national retailers. Stinde joins JCPenney from 7-Eleven where he most recently served as vice president of asset protection. He has held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Toys ‘R’ Us, The Home Depot, Sears, and Circuit City.

“I’m delighted to announce that these three highly accomplished and esteemed retail experts are joining our organization. Each of these executives will play a meaningful role in our Company’s evolution as we work to build our operational capabilities,” said Soltau. “I’m confident that the addition of our newly appointed leaders will inspire the level of progress and momentum needed to deliver a compelling and rewarding shopping experience for our customers and position JCPenney for success.”

To download a copy of this news release, and access company information, bios and photos, please visit: https://www.jcpnewsroom.com/news-releases/2019/0228_welcomes_chief_merchant.html

WWD Logo

Art Peck to Succeed Glenn Murphy at Gap

Excerpt from WWD.com – October 8, 2014

Elaine Hughes, president of executive search firm E.A. Hughes & Co., noted that “Glenn was not a conventional choice for the ceo role and came under fire from Wall Street for not showing results fast enough. However, his strategic approach to reviving the business’ profitability proved Wall Street wrong.”

Hughes said Peck’s recent roles at Gap have “provided him with the experience to navigate through the complexity of the hyperglobal environment of tech-induced consumerism. Product is important, but the environment and mechanism to satisfy the customer are critical. Art gets that.”


Art Peck to Succeed Glenn Murphy at Gap (paid subscription to WWD.com required)
Article by David Moin

E.A. Hughes

Game Changing HR Leadership Updates

The person at the helm of the Human Resources Organization continues to be a strategic asset. Having the right Senior Executive is place is more critical than ever before. We are pleased to announce these leadership updates resulting from our successful client partnerships.

Brooks BrothersMary Pytko

EVP of Global Human Resources
Brooks Brothers

(formerly of Thomson Reuters)

The Limited LogoLarry Fultz

SVP and CHRO Human Resources
The Limited Stores

(formerly of Tenet Health and Vanguard Health Systems)

There is no better time than now to evaluate your team and define your talent needs. Take a look at changes that are looming on the horizon.

The talent attraction landscape is changing every day. The effects of a diverse work force, technology and social media are driving the brave new world of recruiting and managing an organization.

We encourage you to reach out to us personally if we can answer any questions or if we can help you build your talent team.

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Who Might Succeed Christine Day at Lululemon?

Excerpt from WWD.com – June 19, 2013

“Just about anything’s open to her,” said Elaine Hughes, founder and ceo of search firm E.A. Hughes, who noted that she could take a top job at one of VF Corp.’s lifestyle brands or even go to J.C. Penney Co. Inc.

“She could be a breath of fresh air at Penney’s, but she’d be wise to look under the covers first,” Hughes said.


Who Might Succeed Christine Day at Lululemon? (paid WWD.com subscription required)
Article by Alexandra Steigrad

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Reed Krakoff Exiting Coach to Focus on Own Line

Excerpt from WWD.com – April 23, 2013

Elaine Hughes, owner of E.A. Hughes, an executive search firm, said, “Any company, especially one that’s publicly traded, where there’s a stall in stock price and comes a resurgence of a new brand, like a Michael Kors, when you have a change of the ceo at the top, it impacts everything.”

She said that Krakoff was an integral part of taking Coach from a leather resource to a multifabric, diverse handbag, small leather goods, footwear and apparel firm. “There are no names that pop into my head as an overall creative director because there isn’t a singular individual in any multibillion company that does it. What Reed has that is unique is he not only had a great aesthetic sense and an understanding of raw material, but he also had a good business head,” said Hughes.

“Reed, like a John Varvatos, started his career at Polo Ralph Lauren. What they saw was a creative genius that kept his hand on the product. Everything had to be approved by Ralph. That is very similar to how John Varvatos runs his business, and how Reed runs his business. There are very few people who do that, who are not a principal of a company. You can’t look at Tory Burch and say she’s a possibility because she owns the company.…Vince Camuto is a design genius, but he owns the company….It could be somebody from Europe. Europe has a lot of visionary talent. It’s a matter of who can calibrate to that and how do you commercialize that to billions of dollars,” said Hughes.

She said that under Luis, there will be an evolution of the Coach culture. “He’s a global thinker, he’s a very collaborative guy, and no matter what the company is, the culture stems from the ceo office,” she said.


Reed Krakoff Exiting Coach to Focus on Own Line
Article by Alexandra Steigrad with contributions from Marc Karimzadeh, Lisa Lockwood

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Trudy Sullivan to Retire as Talbots CEO

Excerpt from WWD.com – August 13, 2013

“There’s no doubting that she’s very smart,” said Elaine Hughes, president of executive search firm E.A. Hughes & Co., … “But with some of these stores that have a long brand heritage, like Talbots does, it’s very difficult to try to contemporize that product.”

“There’s a reason for Talbots because you have an underserved customer,” she said. “That customer isn’t shopping J. Crew. She’s a middle-age woman who’s not refusing to grow old, but wants to be current and contemporary in her thought process.”


Trudy Sullivan to Retire as Talbots CEO (paid WWD.com subscription required)
Article by Vicki M. Young and Lisa Lockwood

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Talbots Looking For New President

Excerpt from online.WSJ.com – November 30, 2011

“To distinguish itself in the market,” said Elaine Hughes, owner of E.A. Hughes & Co., a retail-industry search firm in New York … “Talbots needs to resonate with the consumer as a brand.”


Talbots Looking For New President (paid online.WSJ.com subscription required)
Article by Joann S. Lublin