Retail appointments of the week

Sophia Hwang-Judiesch to succeed Iain Nairn as president of The Bay

By Anil Prabha

The Bay, the online arm of Canadian department store Hudson’s Bay, has announced that Iain Nairn, an Australian retail veteran and president and CEO of The Bay, will retire in January 2023. Sophia Hwang-Judiesch has been appointed president of The Bay and Hudson’s Bay.

Hwang-Judiesch was appointed president of Hudson’s Bay in September 2022, leading the store organisation, including the execution of the company’s in-store digital selling transformation, customer experience and store optimisation strategy.

Nairn’s retirement culminates a 46-year career in retailing. Since joining The Bay, he oversaw a digital transformation of the business, including the launch of Marketplace, which brought more than 900 new sellers to

Before joining The Bay, Nairn held senior management roles across leading Australian retail brands including Kikki K, David Jones, Country Road Group, Aquila and the Witchery Group.

Maggie Beer Holdings appoints Kinda Grange as CEO

By Rakshnna Pattabiraman

Maggie Beer Holdings (MBH) has appointed Kinda Grange as its new CEO, effective 1 March.

Grange was the former joint MD of the Australian manufacturing company Goodman Fielder, where she has spent 18 years in several senior leadership roles.

Reg Weine, MBH’s chairman, said that “Kinda’s impressive track record of delivering strategic and operational business outcomes, combined with her entrepreneurial and innovative mindset will accelerate MBH’s vision & strategy.”

MBH director Maggie Beer AO described Grange as an “authentic leader” and said, “We have had such strong stable leadership to bring us to this point and we are now poised and ready for the next level of opportunity.”

The company says Grange’s appointment comes as it has completed its “transformation and strategic repositioning” as Australia’s leading purveyor of premium food, beverage and gifting.

Former CEO and MD Chantale Millard resigned on 31 December after eight years in the role.

LVMH names new CEOs for Louis Vuitton and Dior

By Tong Van

Luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH has appointed Pietro Beccari and Bernard Arnault’s daughter Delphine Arnault as new CEOs for its two flagship fashion houses, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior Couture, respectively.

The appointments mark the luxury empire’s most significant organisational changes in its history. 

Pietro Beccari, who has led Christian Dior Couture since 2018, will succeed Michael Burke to become chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton. Subsequently, Delphine Arnault will head Christian Dior Couture as the brand’s new chairman and CEO after having served at Louis Vuitton as executive vice president since 2013.

Beccari joined LVMH as executive vice president of marketing and communications for Louis Vuitton before being appointed as chairman and CEO of Fendi in 2012.

“Pietro Beccari has done an exceptional job at Christian Dior over the past five years. His leadership has accelerated the appeal and success of this iconic Maison,” said Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH.

Meanwhile, Delphine Arnault has been executive vice president of Louis Vuitton since 2013, overseeing all of the house’s product-related activities. The French businesswoman is also a member of the LVMH Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.

Ant Group founder Jack Ma to give up control in key revamp

By Anil Prabha

Jack Ma, Ant Group’s founder, will give up control of the Chinese fintech company in a move that was triggered by a regulatory crackdown. In November 2020, Ant’s $37 billion IPO was cancelled at the last minute.

This was followed by a forced restructuring of the financial technology firm. The latest changes will likely result in a further delay of the eventual listing of the company as per listing regulations.

According to Reuters, China’s domestic A-share market requires companies to wait three years after a change in control to list. For Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR market, the wait is two years, and for Hong Kong it is one year.

Ma owns a 10 per cent stake in Ant, an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, but has exercised control over the company through related entities.

The prospectus showed that a 50.5 per cent stake of Ant is held by Hangzhou Yunbo, an investment vehicle for Ma, which had investment control over two other entities.

As reported by Reuters in November 2022, this latest development surrounding Ma relinquishing his control over the company follows the possibility of Chinese authorities levying a $1 billion fine on the firm.

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