September 28, 2022 – New York-based retail and consumer focused executive search firm Herbert Mines Associates has named president Brenda Malloy as CEO, effective at the start of 2023. Current chairman and CEO Hal Reiter will remain as chairman. In her new role, Ms. Malloy will be responsible for the strategic growth of the firm.
Ms. Malloy is only the third CEO in the Herbert Mine’s 44-year history. Since joining the firm in 2013, she has been instrumental in driving financial growth by increasing the penetration of C-suite and board placements. Throughout her tenure, she has been responsible for identifying some of the most successful CEOs at both publicly held and private equity backed companies, including Ulta Beauty Inc., Burlington Stores Inc., Five Below, Sprouts Farmers Market, Kohl’s Corp., Chico’s FAS Inc., and Banana Republic, among others. Ms. Malloy’s track record of increasing corporate diversity and elevating women is substantiated by the fact that 87 percent of the firm’s board placements and 52 percent of their executive placements are women or people of color.
“Our clients value transformative leaders who know how to strategically evolve a business or a brand and I intend to lead Herbert Mines Associates into its next chapter by serving as a trusted, strategic advisor to both clients and candidates,” said Ms. Malloy. “It’s our responsibility to position our clients for success by staying ahead of emerging trends and understanding their impact on talent, roles, and organizational structures.”
Ms. Malloy is known for her expertise in omnichannel leadership, CEO succession planning, and identifying, cultivating, and developing talent. Before joining Herbert Mines Associates, she led the retail practice at Russell Reynolds Associates and was previously a principal in the global retail practice at Spencer Stuart. Prior to that, Ms. Malloy was an associate partner in the retail practice at Accenture, where she helped clients envision, design, and deliver value-focused, business transformation initiatives. Before joining Accenture, she spent more than 16 years in the retail industry, where she held various positions in merchandising and store operations with Neiman Marcus Stores and Bloomingdale’s.
In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), Ms. Malloy attributed the success of the firm to its values, which include “loving what you do and owning what you do,” she said. “We love the craft; we love the puzzle. We love working with clients. We love meeting interesting candidates. It’s fun work. It’s hard work.”
Other factors include a high level of collaboration and prioritizing the client. “And do the right thing,” Ms. Malloy said. “It is critical that we do right by our clients and our people. You also must be radically transparent and authentic. We’re also resilient and positive, but we’re always looking to be better. And then most importantly, give clients and candidates a ‘wow’ experience.”
When asked about the future of retail leadership, Ms. Malloy served some questions that executives need to be asking. “For someone who is customer obsessed, you ask ‘What is our [company’s] unique value proposition? And I’m not just telling myself what it is and believing it. It’s what really is it? Why are customers going to shop my brand, my store? What am I doing to ensure that I am ‘wowing’ customers, that I’m delivering what they want, how they want it, when they want it, in the way they want it?”
Herbert Mines Associates recently assisted in the recruitment of Nick Konat as the new president and chief operating officer of Sprouts Farmers Market in Phoenix, AZ. Firm president Brenda Malloy and managing director Christine Augustine led the search. “I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Nick to the Sprouts executive leadership team,” said Jack Sinclair, CEO. “Nick’s deep-rooted merchandising and product innovation experience with preeminent retail brands will help to propel our company forward as we continue to execute on our strategic plan.”
Ms. Malloy told WWD that the industry has rapidly evolved, and the work of C-level executives is getting harder. This is why having the right team in place is key. “But how are you motivating and inspiring those people?” she said. “How do you understand what your team wants? You also need to keep the culture going, the creativity, the mentoring, the sponsorship, the spontaneity — especially with hybrid work environments.”
Established in 1978, Herbert Mines is a specialist search firm focusing on the retail, fashion and apparel, beauty, consumer products and services, hospitality, leisure, restaurant, and digital/technology industries. The firm is noted for its C-suite recruiting work and has 3,600 searches.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media