Retail appointments of the week

Outgoing Brand Collective CEO Eric Morris. Image supplied

Brand Collective CEO steps down, replacement named

By Rakshnna Pattabiraman

Eric Morris has stepped down as Brand Collective CEO but will continue to work with the company in non-executive and advisory roles, and sit on its board.

David Thomas – who has previously run Country Road Group and David Jones – has been appointed as the new CEO of the business.

Morris was appointed CEO when Brand Collective merged with the PAS Group in March last year and has been with the company for 18 years. His most recent challenge was integrating the two entities and growing their portfolio.

Of his decision, Morris said: “It has truly been an amazing journey, from the formation of The PAS Group in 2005 following the acquisition of the Yarra Trail business by Private Equity, to my involvement in each subsequent acquisition of the PAS brands and to the delivery of the business as it stands today.”

Executive chairman of Brand Collective, Larry Kestelman, said the business is “positioned for a prosperous future” and thanked Morris for his contribution to building the brand.

Brand Collective is a multi-brand apparel, footwear and sports business which sells 27 leading Australian and international brands, including Reebok, Superdry, Everlast, Replay, Clarks, Julius Marlow, Hush Puppies, and Moox.

Former Lamoda chief executive announced as The Iconic CEO

By Aron Lewin

Leading ANZ online fashion retailer The Iconic has appointed Jere Calmes as its new chief executive officer. He replaces outgoing CEO Erica Berchtold, who is set to become the new Best & Less Group CEO in September this year.  

Calmes has more than 25 years of leadership experience and rejoins Global Fashion Group (GFG) – which owns a number of e-commerce companies including The Iconic – following a three-year period as CEO of Lamoda, which GFG sold at the end of last year.

“I am honoured to be joining The Iconic and working with such a professional and dynamic team once again, both in Australia and across GFG,” Calmes said.

Patagonia appoints EMEA GM

By Aron Lewin

Patagonia has announced the appointment of Nina Hajikhanian as the new general manager for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region

Hajikhanian, who joined Patagonia’s EMEA management team in 2019, previously served as a director of its direct-to-consumer offering, overseeing e-commerce, retail, and customer service operations.

Patagonia’s presence across Europe, The Middle East and Asia now includes twelve retail stores, and will be overseen by Hajikhanian from the company’s EMEA HQ in Amsterdam. 

“As someone who is most comfortable in nature and passionate about building a responsible and inclusive outdoor industry, I am honoured to take on this role,” she said. “The opportunity to expand our impact has never been greater.”

Hajikhanian completed her MBA at the University of Western Australia. Prior to joining Patagonia, she worked for Adidas ANZ, and held senior marketing roles at companies including Red Bull.

Diageo boss Ivan Menezes passes away

By Aron Lewin

Diageo CEO Sir Ivan Menezes passed away this week after a brief illness.

The company announced that Menezes, who held the chief executive role at the world’s largest spirits company for over 10 years – and led brands including Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff and Baileys – was set to retire at the end of this month after recovering from a stomach ulcer.

Debra Crew was appointed as interim CEO while Sir Menezes was recovering from emergency surgery for a stomach ulcer. She is set to continue in the role.

Sir Menezes joined Diageo in 1997 following the creation of the business. Previously head of marketing, he was behind Johnnie Walker’s “Keep Walking” campaign.

He also held senior positions at Diageo including chief operating officer, president of Diageo North America, chairman of Diageo Asia Pacific, and chairman of Diageo Latin America and Caribbean. 

“This is an incredibly sad day. Ivan was undoubtedly one of the finest leaders of his generation,” Diageo chairman Javier Ferrán said.

Menezes was knighted earlier this year for services to Business and to Equality in His Majesty The King’s 2023 New Year Honours List.

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