Retail appointments

Gucci hires diversity chief

Italian luxury brand Gucci has appointed Renée Tirado as the new leader of its diversity, equity, and inclusion division. Tirado is tasked with creating and implementing a global strategy to make Gucci’s workplace and its brand initiatives more inclusive.

An attorney, Tirado previously served as the chief diversity and inclusion officer at US Major League Baseball and in similar roles at global finance and insurance corporation AIG and the US Tennis Association. 

The appointment follows a backlash in the past year for Gucci products deemed to be culturally insensitive or racist, including “blackface” balaclava sweaters which were pulled from stores in February and an “Indy full turban” resembling a Sikh headdress which debuted at Milan Fashion Week in February.

Other luxury brands – including Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Burberry – have faced similar criticism over products and campaigns. Chanel, Prada and Burberry have all introduced diversity initiatives.

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RFG director moves to consulting role

Troubled franchisor Retail Food Group has announced the resignation of its longest-serving director, Jessica Buchanan, who has left the board in order to “facilitate her transition to a dedicated operational consulting role”. 

RFG is the owner of Gloria Jean’s, Brumby’s Bakeries, Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie and Crust, among others. It has been struggling with falling revenues and scandal for a number of years.

Executive chairman Peter George said Buchanan’s new role would “allow her to directly drive the execution and delivery of the many strategic initiatives she has played a key role in formulating”.

Buchanan has been on the RFG board since 2012 and has also been consulting to the company through her marketing firms Brands R People 2 and Consumerology for several years. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, she has billed RFG close to $276,800 in consulting fees since 2014.

Lego strategist picks up his toys

Ben Campbell, senior global strategist at Lego Group, has resigned, posting his farewell message on LinkedIn. He referred to Lego as a “playground” filled with “big thinkers, creators and disruptors”, who pursued great work selling “the greatest product of all – creativity”. 

Campbell, who is now based in Denmark, said he was taking a few months off to travel, focus on freelance projects and “hit the factory reset button”. He was planning to then head to Oslo, where he will be based for the next year. He said he was open to all sorts of “weird and wonderful ideas” and invited suggestions. 

As recently as November 2017, Campbell called working at Lego his dream job. “Sometimes I’ll be sitting in focus groups with young kids, seeing how they behave and react to our Lego experiences,” he told Brand Tales. “And sometimes I’m just sitting at my desk playing with Lego bricks.”

Showpo head of product departs

Amber Hodgman, head of product at Showpo, has left the company after five years.

Last year, Showpo won the Online Retailer of the Year Award at the Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAS) hosted by Australia Post. The award followed the launch of its All Sizes campaign, which focused on inspiring customers to feel empowered in their bodies and encouraging other players in the industry to expand their size ranges.

“For the past two years, Showpo has been working on growing our original size range offering from 6-12 to 4-20”, Hodgman told Shaw Talk website at the time. “There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and it has taken a while to pull this off, but it is by far our most exciting product launch.”

In a farewell message on LinkedIn this week, she paid tribute to the “talented, thoughtful and intelligent women” on the team and wished them well.

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