Additionally, the Saks Off 5th stores company, known as O5, appointed Abby Duran chief human resources officer, reporting directly to Rob Brooks, president of O5. Duran will serve as a member of the O5 executive committee.
“As separate business entities, both have distinct associate needs that require dedicated HR support to ensure the best workplace culture and offerings,” Off 5th said in a statement Thursday.
Saks Off 5th, an off-price luxury retailer, split its e-commerce and stores operations into separate companies last June, eyeing growth particularly on the dot-com side. Parent company Hudson’s Bay Co. teamed with investor Insight Partners on the separation, with Insight investing $200 million into Saks Off 5th, valuing it at roughly $1 billion and shining a light on the value potentially sitting in the digital operations of any number of fashion retailers.
The Saks Off 5th separation mirrored the remake last March of HBC’s regular-priced Saks Fifth Avenue business into separate dot-com and store companies. Insight pumped $500 million into saks.com at a $2 billion valuation. HBC, sources have said, would like to undertake initial public offerings of saks.com and saksoff5th.com.
Hiring new HR leaders reflects the need to step up the hunt for additional talent to further grow the businesses and take them public.
Brooks previously had oversight of human resources prior to establishing separate business entities for the stores and e-commerce businesses.
Gregg comes to saksoff5th.com from The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., where she spent the past eight years in human resources, most recently as vice president, global HR business partner supporting finance and strategy, new business development, diversity and other functions across the business. “She has extensive experience leading cross-functional, international teams and supporting and sustaining evolving businesses,” Off 5th said in its statement. Prior to The Estée Lauder Cos., Gregg held key human resources positions at Apple Inc. and earlier at Ann Taylor.
“I strongly believe that there is no area of greater importance than our people and we are committed to investing in, and attracting the talent we need to drive the business forward,” said Thomas, adding that it’s “critical we continue to build an engaged, collaborative and inclusive culture for our associates, and I’m confident Maggie is the right leader to take our human resources strategy to the next level.”
“Saksoff5th.com has a unique opportunity to strategically leverage its start-up mentality to define a strong, cohesive culture that reinforces talent as a top priority,” Gregg said.
Duran spent the majority of her more than 20-year career at L’Oréal, where she held various HR leadership roles, most recently as vice president of human resources, Luxe Division-International Designer Collections. Earlier, she led HR for the SalonCentrics division, the company’s distribution arm for professional products such as Redken, Matrix and more. In this position, she oversaw HR and talent strategy for about 4,000 employees, including a corporate headquarters, six distribution centers, 575 beauty supply stores, and a 600-plus field sales organization. Earlier, she held HR jobs at the United States Tennis Association and Warner Media, and she is an accredited executive coach through the International Coaching Federation.
“With more than 100 Saks Off 5th locations across North America, it was imperative that we identify a seasoned HR leader with deep field experience to fully support our store team,” Brooks said.
Duran added, “My goal at Saks Off 5th is to create an inclusive employee-centric culture where associates feel valued for their contributions and take pride in enhancing the customer experience on a daily basis.”