Retail appointments: Vicinity names new CFO

Nicholas Schiffer to be Vicinity Centres CFO

Retail landlord Vicinity Centres has appointed Spark Infrastructure executive Nicholas Schiffer as its new chief financial officer.

Schiffer, who will take on the role in September, has been Spark’s CFO since July 2017. He will report to Vicinity CEO and managing director Grant Kelley when he joins the property firm’s executive committee.

As Vicinity’s CFO, Schiffer’s responsibilities will include leading the finance, investment management, treasury and capital transactions functions, in addition to Vicinity’s wholesale funds and strategic partnerships business.

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Vicinity is a real estate investment trust company specialising in ownership and management of Australian shopping centres, with approximately $6.9 billion of shopping centres under management.

Schiffer previously served as managing director at Credit Suisse for 17 years with responsibility for investment banking within the energy, transport and general infrastructure sectors across Australia and New Zealand.

Kelley said Schiffer’s knowledge and experience in infrastructure are widely relevant to the property industry and would bring some additional diversity of thought to the leadership team.

Kah Wong, currently Vicinity’s acting CFO, will return to the role of general manager of treasury, when Schiffer joins Vicinity.

Ratnakar Lavu on board for Nike

US footwear giant Nike has announced that Ratnakar Lavu will become its first global chief digital information officer, effective June 17.

Lavu will lead all of Nike’s global technology functions across the enterprise with responsibility for accelerating new digital capabilities. He will report to Eric Sprunk, Nike’s chief operating officer.

Lavu most recently was the chief technology and information officer at department store chain Kohl’s, where he led all of IT, digital and consumer technology. Prior to joining Kohl’s, he was chief technology officer at video-game rental company Redbox.

From 2006 to 2009, he was vice-president of technology for Bloomingdales, where he was responsible for the product roadmap, development, testing, design and architecture for omni-channel initiatives.

Chris Mavris to leave Soul Origin

The general manager of healthy fast-food restaurant chain Soul Origin, Chris Mavris, is to leave the organisation after six years.

Under his direction, Soul Origin expanded from just two stores to 107 across NSW, Queensland and the ACT.

Mavris hails from Taree, in country NSW, and started his career in his family’s cafe. From there he took on a Michel’s Patisserie franchise, but he was quickly attracted to the fledgling Soul Origin as a brand-building exercise.

“I wanted to work in a business that was retail-focused,” he told CEO magazine this January. “So some of the decisions that we make as an organisation might not make corporate sense as far as dollars and cents go; however, they make retail sense. If decisions make retail sense, they then turn into retail dollars in the long term.”

In the announcement of his departure, Mavris said he had “changed and reinvented [himself] numerous times over the six years”.

Mavris did not announce what his next career step would be.


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