Jonathan Greller, the top women’s merchant at Hudson’s Bay Company, has left the Toronto-based retailer to join The Doneger Group as chief operating officer.
The move was surprising considering just last February, Greller, a senior vice president and general merchandise manager, was put in charge of all women’s apparel at The Bay and Lord & Taylor divisions of HBC. It was a far bigger assignment from his prior role overseeing men’s, children’s and intimate apparel at Lord & Taylor. HBC earlier this year consolidated down to one team of general merchandise managers for Lord &Taylor and The Bay, instead of two.
However by joining Doneger, the 41-year-old Greller becomes a potential successor down the road to Abbey Doneger, the president and chief executive officer of The Doneger Group, a long-standing consulting firm that assists retail and fashion clients with market research, fashion forecasting, global trends, merchandising and product development strategies. Doneger is 61, but is not expected to leave the business any time soon.
Asked why he recruited Greller from HBC, Doneger said, “I’ve created a new position because I want our business to always move forward, and I have a responsibility to field the best team I can. Bringing Jonathan in is a significant move. He brings retail leadership and experience and will add to our overall ability to better serve our clients. He will come in with new ideas, identify areas for growth and build relationships with clients. He’s a merchant, and will work side-by-side with me running the business.” Greller has nearly 20 years of merchandising experience.
His move triggered a realignment of the women’s merchant team at HBC. MaryAnne Morin, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for center core and intimates at The Bay and Lord & Taylor, now also has responsibilities for dresses, suits, swim and coats, at both department stores. Connie Hoza has been promoted to senior vice president and general merchandise manager for women’s contemporary, modern and classic sportswear, at Lord & Taylor and The Bay. Hoza was vice president and divisional merchandise manager of contemporary and modern sportswear, at both stores.
Morin and Hoza report to Liz Rodbell, executive vice president and chief merchant of HBC. “The new alignment reflects each of their individual strengths and positions Hudson’s Bay Company to deliver on our well-edited merchandising assortment for our customers,” Rodbell said.