September 21, 2021 – Retailers are facing major shifts in their businesses that call for “unprecedented responses” by CEOs who can effectively lead through change, intuitively and analytically understand the evolving consumer, and respond to ambiguity, according to search consultants. Developed markets, excess retail capacity, rising prices, the shift to omni-channel retail and the unpredictable pace of change in consumer shopping habits all affect the type of leader that retailers need.
E.A. Hughes & Co., a division of Solomon Page specializing in retail and consumer-focused executive search, recently partnered with JCPenney in identifying and placing Andre Joyner as chief human resources officer. Managing directors Bob Marchant and Ann MacCarthy led the search and took a unique and personalized approach to the assignment.
The team was able to assess the technical and cultural fit of candidates evaluated for the CHRO role as a result of behavioral interviewing, in-depth screening and a competency-based framework, which defined the skills that JCPenney required. Mr. Joyner was identified based on his extensive experience and reputation within the industry.
“We are thrilled to have played an integral role in placing JCPenney’s CHRO – a position that is more crucial and influential than ever,” said Mr. Marchant. “It is a privilege to continue working with longstanding partners in identifying and placing exceptional talent, and both Ann and I look forward to the future success this key placement will bring to JCPenney.”
“JCPenney is delighted to announce the appointment of Andre Joyner as senior vice president, chief human resources officer of the company. Joyner brings more than 20 years of transformative human resources and management experience in retail, health care and consumer packaged goods industries,” the company said in a post.
Mr. Joyner brings more than 20 years of innovative human resources and management experience in retail, health care and consumer packaged goods industries to JCPenney. Most recently, he served as senior vice president, head of human resources at Victoria’s Secret where he led the brand through a significant organizational transformation. Earlier in his career, Mr. Joyner held HR leadership roles at Merck & Co. and Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group. He holds a master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations and a bachelor’s degree in arts in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In his new position with JCPenney, Mr. Joyner will be responsible for the development and execution of strategic human capital decisions and lead the company’s human resources functions. He will be reporting directly to the interim CEO of JCPenney, Stanley Shashoua.
JCPenney Co. Inc., one of the nation’s largest apparel and home retailers, combines an expansive footprint of about 650 stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The company has approximately 60,000 associates across the globe.
Founded in 1991 by Elaine Hughes, E.A. Hughes & Co. focuses on retail and consumer executive search. The firm serves clients in the retail and consumer apparel, home furnishings, beauty, digital, e-commerce, footwear and other industries. E.A. Hughes is headquartered in New York City. In January, E.A. Hughes was acquired by New York-based search firm Solomon Page. “Elaine has influenced the careers of many senior executives in retail and fashion and advocated for women in the industry by example and involvement in many organizations during the past three decades,” said Sue Lamoreaux, managing director at Solomon Page.
These are revolutionary times for retail with COVID-19 having accelerated some fundamental trends across the sector. This has in turn created a fertile environment for the most able executives to set themselves apart and chart a course for a successful, digitally focused future, according to a new report by Melissa Reed, a consumer and retail partner lead with H.I. Executive Consulting (HIEC). “The past year has certainly rocked the retail boat and the ramifications are being felt widely, including a realization that the crisis has created great opportunities as well as challenges,’ she said. “These are right now being grasped by the sector’s most capable leaders and so in order for companies to take full advantage of the new retail landscape they must seek to invest in these sorts of individuals.”
There is no escaping the fact that it has been a tough time for retail, but some CEOs have also highlighted how invigorating it has been. “They have been able to think differently and to push through change at rapid pace,” said Ms. Reed. “They’ve also been able to initiate these changes without necessarily seeking board approval. Such actions have arguably been swept under the COVID-19 carpet.”
Mr. Marchant is a seasoned executive search leader who brings more than 20 years of experience and leadership to the retail, fashion and consumer industries. He transitioned from a 15-year career in the retail industry to executive search based on his expertise across the retail enterprise and his approach to address the cultural and operating needs of his clients. He has experience recruiting across a broad range of disciplines including marketing, supply chain, merchandising, finance, operations, creative and sales. Mr. Marchant also has functional experience in the digital world in both E-commerce extensions of brick and mortar companies as well as pure-play organizations.
His clients are based throughout the U.S. and include both public and private equity-sponsored retailers and consumer-facing brands that range from leading Fortune 500 multi-channel organizations to mid-tier companies and start-up enterprises. Mr. Marchant’s clients have included Disney, PetSmart, Zulily, Family Dollar Stores, The Finish Line, NYX Cosmetics, MGA Entertainment, Focus Brands, Floor & Décor, Vans, Westfield Corp. and Forever 21.
Ms. MacCarthy has spent more than 20 years recruiting CEOs and other C-suite and VP-level executives for her clients across all channels of distribution. “People in the retail and consumer industry sectors she serves recognize that her ability to partner effectively is built on her insider experience as CHRO for Gestetner PLC and in senior HR positions at Sara Lee and U.S. Industries Apparel Group,” E.A. Hughes said.
“I am proud of the fact the over 90 percent of the candidates I have recruited over the years have stayed with the company more than five years and made major contributions to these businesses,” said Ms. MacCarthy.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media