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Kohl’s Hires Former Starbucks Executive Michelle Gass

She will serve as chief customer officer, a newly created position, and report to Kevin Mansell.

The sometimes insular Kohl’s Corp. is bringing in a fresh face — and perhaps a new, fully caffeinated attitude.

The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer hired Starbucks Corp. veteran Michelle Gass to be chief customer officer, a newly created position. Gass will report to Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and chief executive officer, when she starts June 17.

Gass will lead the company’s branding effort, overseeing marketing, the e-commerce business and the customer’s “total omnichannel experience.” She spent the last 16 years at Starbucks, where she most recently served as president of the coffee giant’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Mansell said Gass “comes to us with a track record of success and the experience, skills and imagination to lead and accelerate Kohl’s omnichannel efforts, as well as develop new strategies to move our consumer engagement in new directions. I fully expect this to be the start of an exciting journey to drive new growth for the company across all of our business areas.”

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Gass sees lots of change ahead for retail, which she said is at a “pivotal time.”

“How people shop and consume media is going through a change unlike anytime before,” she said. “I am delighted to help shape how Kohl’s will evolve its already strong brand to be even more compelling to today’s customers.”