New Executives: QVC, Coldwater Creek, Bon Ton

QVC and Coldwater Creek both announced new chief executive officers among other positions. H. Stern added a new national sales manager for its U.S. wholesale business. Bon Ton extended its ceo’s tenure. DSW named a new senior vice president, general manager.

York, PA–The Bon-Ton extended its chief executive’s employment contract by a year. The amendment means Bud Bergren will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer until February 5, 2012. His tenure will then renew for successive periods of one year unless either the company or Bergren decide otherwise.When that happens, Bergren will continue as a director, and, at the company’s election, will also serve as the chairman of the board until the annual meeting of shareholders a year later.

The company has also promoted Barbara Schrantz to chief operating officer, effective 30 January. Schrantz is currently executive vice president, sales promotion and marketing.

Sandpoint, ID–Coldwater Creek has announced that Jill Brown Dean has been appointed as its president and chief merchandising officer. Dean will join Coldwater Creek February 14, succeeding Georgia Shonk Simmons who previously announced her retirement. Dean joins Coldwater Creek with more 25 years of retail and merchandising experience in the specialty retail. She was most recently president of the Limited Too division of Tween Brands. Coldwater Creek also announced that Jerome Jessup, currently executive vice president, creative director, has been promoted to president and chief creative officer. Both Dean and Jessup will report directly to Dennis Pence, co-founder, chairman and ceo of Coldwater Creek. Pence said: “We thank Georgia for her many contributions to this organization over the past 12 years. She was instrumental in building the Coldwater Creek brand and in growing the business to over $1billion in revenue. We will miss her immensely and wish her well in her retirement. With these changes to our leadership team, we have now completed the reorganization of the merchandising and design areas of Coldwater Creek. I am confident in our new team and look forward to seeing the results of the changes we have made in the months to come.”

West Chester, Pennsylvania–QVC, Inc. has promoted Claire Watts to the newly created position of CEO, U.S. With QVC since 2008, Watts’ new position includes responsibility for the overall strategy and operations of QVC’s U.S. business. “Since joining QVC three years ago, Claire has had an extraordinary impact in making QVC a leading and innovative multichannel retailer,” said Mike George, QVC’s president and ceo, Mike George, to whom Watts will report. “By taking on these expanded responsibilities, I am confident she will take our U.S. business to new heights, while also allowing me to focus more on QVC’s growing global operations.”

In her previous role as president, U.S. commerce, Watts led the following company initiatives such as launching new merchandising, such as Isaac Mizrahi, K-Dash by the Kardashians, Liz Claiborne New York, Rachael Ray, Gordon Ramsay, Godiva, and Harry and David as well as expanding QVC.com and leading a major push into mobile platforms, which are growing at a significant rate.

New York–H.Stern has appointed Karl Kreiser national sales director, wholesale, reporting to Susan Nicholas, ceo of H. Stern North America. In his new role, Kreiser will be responsible for strengthening existing partnerships with H.Stern’s wholesale accounts and developing future strategies for the North American market.  Kreiser comes to H.Stern with an extensive luxury background, having held senior management positions at such companies as Baccarat, Hermès and Montblanc.

Columbus–DSW announced Christopher Lanning as senior vice president and general manager of the leased business division. Lanning will be responsible for managing DSW’s existing leased business client base and developing new account relationships.”Chris is an innovative and customer-focused executive with a demonstrated record of success in multiple retail and consumer channels,” said Michael MacDonald, ceo of DSW. Lanning joins DSW most recently from his position as president, CTL Retail Partners, a retail operations consultant and services practice. Lanning succeeds Raymond Blanton, who announced in March 2010 that he would be retiring in early 2011.

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