Retail appointments of the week

Under Armour announces new CEO

In December, Under Armour announced that Stephanie Linnartz will be its new president, CEO and board member, effective 27 February. 

Her appointment follows a seven-month search after the brand’s former CEO Patrik Frisk announced his resignation in May 2022.

Linnartz currently serves as the president of Marriott International, the world’s largest hospitality company, with a portfolio of nearly 8,200 properties across 138 countries and territories and 30 brands. 

They include The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Marriott Hotels, W Hotels, and Westin, as well as the industry’s most extensive customer-loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, which has 173 million members.

“As a 25-year veteran of one of the world’s most respected global companies, we are thrilled to welcome Stephanie to the brand,” said Kevin Plank, Under Armour founder, executive chair and brand chief. 

“She is a proven growth leader with a distinguished track record of brand strategy, omnichannel execution, talent acquisition and development, and passion for driving best-in-class consumer connectivity, experience, and brand loyalty.”

TikTok bolsters e-commerce team 

According to the South China Morning Post, social media giant TikTok has appointed Harvard-educated Kevin Chen Xi to join the platform as its head of e-commerce product and data.

Chen joined TikTok’s parent company Bytedance in December 2020, and was the president of its news aggregator app Jinri Toutiao.

Before that, he spent almost five years as president of Didi Chuxing, a  Chinese ride-sharing company. In this company, he led platform product and operations.

In his new role at TikTok, Chen is expected to lead online retail product operations and be under the leadership of Bob Kang Zeyu, the president of e-commerce.

Social commerce – the use of social media to promote and sell products – is estimated to be a US$1 trillion industry in APAC by 2025. And platforms are increasingly helping brands capitalise on this opportunity by incorporating product listings, checkouts, payments and live chat options.

TikTok is perhaps the best example of this. It offers a full feature in-app e-commerce store, or virtual shop fronts for brands. While Meta also offers shops on Facebook and Instagram, TikTok now offers checkouts and payments within the app.

Australia Post names new chair; CMO departs

Siobhan McKenna has been named chair of Australia Post, following the departure of former chair Lucio Di Bartolomeo in November 2022, as reported by the Australian Financial Review.

McKenna brings a significant background in strategy and operations in the public and private sectors, and has led consumer-facing businesses in the media and digital sectors. 

She is currently CEO of broadcasting at News Corp, and was previously a commissioner of the Australian Productivity Commission, chair of NBN Co, partner of McKinsey & Company and a director of Woolworths Group.

She is also executive chairman of Foxtel, Fox Sports and Australian News Channel and a director of AMCIL and Nova Entertainment.

Meanwhile, Australia Post CMO Amber Collins has left the brand, according to Mumbrella.

Collins reportedly resigned from her position just before Christmas, and Corrina Brazel has been named acting CMO for the interim period.

The leadership shakeup comes nearly two years after the controversial departure of former CEO Christine Colgate in April 2021. 

Over the past year, Australia Post has faced challenging market conditions, as well as the lingering hangover of the pandemic, which have complicated its operational efficiency.

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