Vera Bradley announces leadership changes
Vera Bradley, Inc. announced on Wednesday a leadership shakeup including the elimination of several positions.
As part of a new streamlined corporate structure, the company has eliminated the positions of Vera Bradley brand president, chief creative officer, and chief revenue officer. As a result, president Daren Hull, CCO Beatrice Mac Cabe, and CRO Mary Beth Trypus have departed the organization.
Likewise, Alison Hiatt has joined the company as chief marketing officer to oversee digital marketing, customer data, and ecommerce. The Vera Bradley brand and creative marketing, retail store, and retail brand experience teams will also report to Hiatt.
Hiatt was most recently chief marketing officer for Salt and Straw. Prior to that, she was chief marketing officer of Banfield Pet Hospitals, a division of Mars, Inc. She has also held marketing-related and other retail posts with REI, Starbucks, and Amazon.
The company will also add a position of senior vice president of merchandising and design for Vera Bradley. A search is currently underway.
The new streamlined corporate structure is expected to drive cost savings, add more focus on marketing and merchandising, and position the company to deliver steady top- and bottom-line growth.
“These decisions were made in order to right-size our leadership team and cost structure for the size of our business, to address the continuing challenging macro environment, and to best position us to achieve our long-term strategic plans,” said Jackie Ardrey, president and chief executive officer of VRA.
On the Pura Vida brand side, Pura Vida Co-Presidents Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman have made the decision to leave the Company, effective January 28, 2023. The Company will acquire the remaining 25% interest in Pura Vida from Thall and Goodman for $10 million, effective January 30, 2023.
The search for a new president of Pura Vida is currently underway. In the interim, Pura Vida’s vice president of finance, Sujay Shah, will assume day-to-day oversight of Pura Vida, in a consulting role to support the team with marketing and branding direction.
Ardrey added: “It is critical to have a high-functioning, aligned executive leadership team, and this flattened and streamlined structure will help us execute better, make faster decisions, and drive success. These most recent organizational changes will produce annualized savings of over $2 million, on top of the $25 million of cost reductions previously identified and largely realized in fiscal 2023, which should position us to be a stronger, more nimble organization.”
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