Retail appointments of the week

Hilton Brett (left) and Steven Marks (right) (Source: Guzman Y Guzman)

Guzman Y Gomez appoints Hilton Brett as co-CEO

By Celene Ignacio

Quick service restaurant Guzman Y Gomez (GYG) has appointed Hilton Brett as co-CEO, effective immediately, as the company plans to launch an initial public offering and further expand in the US.

Brett will be working alongside the restaurant’s founder and CEO Steven Marks, who announced in May that he would be stepping back from day-to-day operations to focus on culture and growth.

Prior to the new appointment, Brett served as a non-executive director on the board of GYG for over five years and worked as an operating partner at TDM Growth Partners – GYG’s biggest shareholder.

He is also a non-executive director at Somnomed Australia and Pacific Smiles Group, and from 2006 to 2018, he held the position of co-CEO at Accent Group.

Marks will keep the food, marketing, and US operations as his responsibility, while Brett will lead the finance, information technology, human resources, legal, real estate, and investor relations departments. Each of them will have a line of sight into all divisions.

“Hilton has been on the board of GYG for the last five years so his knowledge of GYG’s business model and our company culture didn’t need to be taught or learned. When he joined us in a full-time capacity as acting CFO four months ago, he immediately knew what needed to be done and got to work,” said Marks.

“GYG is a unique business with an opportunity to become the biggest and best restaurant company in the world. The most important thing for me was finding a co-CEO who would bring in the skills we needed for the next chapter of growth for GYG.”

Brett will be leaving TDM in line with his new appointment.

Walgreens names Tim Wentworth as its new CEO

By Sean Cao

Walgreens Boots Alliance has appointed Tim Wentworth as its new CEO and member of the board, effective October 23, after Rosalind Brewer stepped down last month.

Wentworth was most recently founding CEO of Evernorth, Cigna’s health services organisation. Prior to Cigna, he was CEO of Express Scripts, having grown it into a Fortune 22 company with more than $100 billion in revenue.

Wentworth previously led Medco’s employer and key accounts organisations for nearly 14 years and served as president and CEO of Accredo, Medco’s specialty pharmacy.

Walgreens said Wentworth joins the company at a pivotal time as it focuses on right-sizing the business, while driving execution and creating greater value.

“The WBA board has been focused on bringing in a CEO with deep healthcare experience, and we are pleased to welcome Tim Wentworth as the company’s new CEO. He is an accomplished and respected leader with profound expertise in the payer and pharmacy space as well as supply chain, IT and human resources,” said Stefano Pessina, executive chairman at Walgreens.

Following the appointment, Ginger Graham, who has led the company during the interim period, will resume her role as the board’s lead independent director.

Chloé names new creative director

By Dean Blake

French luxury fashion brand Chloé has named former Saint Laurent design director Chemena Kamali as its next creative director.

Kamali reportedly joined the Chloé team as early as June, according to Business of Fashion, but the company held off on announcing her appointment. She has previously worked at Chloé, having served in the design team a number of times.

“My heart has always been Chloé’s. It has been since I stepped through its doors more than 20 years ago,” Kamali said in a statement.

“Returning feels natural and very personal. I am extremely honoured to be taking on this role and to be building on the vision that Gaby Aghion and Karl Lagerfeld defined early in the Maison’s history.”

Dollar General names ‘new’ CEO

By Dean Blake

Struggling US discount retailer Dollar General has brought back former CEO Todd Vasos to lead the company back to growth. He previously led the business between 2015 and 2022.

Vasos agreed to return to the retailer for the foreseeable future, and replaced Jeff Owen, who no longer works with the business effective immediately.

“I am honored to be rejoining Dollar General at this pivotal time for our company,” Vasos said. 

“I look forward to getting back to work with the broader team as we strive to return to a position of operational excellence for our employees and customers.”

According to CNBC, Owen had been in the CEO role for less than a year, during which time sales growth stalled and the company faced criticism over ‘unsafe stores’. 

The business has been fined more than $21 million from federal officials due to unsafe store practices, and, against the company’s wishes, shareholders passed a resolution to start an independent audit into the business’ safety practices.

On the announcement of Vasos’ return, shares at Dollar General jumped 6 per cent.

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