As Macy’s downsizes its store count and corporate offices, a number of key executives have just left or are soon leaving the firm.
This story first appeared in the January 20, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I am not retiring. I am leaving Macy’s,” Nancy Slavin, the outgoing head of marketing for Macy’s stable of private brands, told WWD. “I had a storied and very privileged career building world-class brands at Macy’s. I believe they are well positioned for growth.”
Slavin is among the 10,000 Macy’s employees who have just left or are leaving Macy’s Inc. soon, most of whom want to continue their careers. Macy’s is reducing its headcount and storecount — 63 stores in early spring and about three dozen others over the next few years will close — to become a more efficient and profitable company.
Aside from Slavin, the list of Macy veterans departing includes Amy Kule, group vice president for Macy’s parade and entertainment group; Joseph Feczko, listed on LinkedIn as executive vice president and chief creative officer; Elina Kazan, vice president for media relations and cause marketing for the Northeast region including the Herald Square flagship, and Peter Sachse, chief growth officer.
As reported, Jeffrey Gennette steps up to chief executive officer, succeeding Terry J. Lundgren sometime in the first quarter of 2017, and several other corporate appointments to fill vacated slots were recently announced. But many top players remain, including Tim Baxter, chief merchandising officer; Karen Hoguet, chief financial officer, Jeff Kantor, chief stores officer, and Lundgren who shifts to executive chairman.
Macy’s executives, considering their experience and being in proximity to New York’s concentration of fashion, retail and marketing firms, have opportunities ahead of them.
Kule worked at Macy’s for 21 years and would lead the Thanksgiving Day Parade each year. She was executive producer for the parade and the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks and supervised a team of more than 150 people across the U.S. to produce thousands of events.
Kazan was the spokeswoman for celebrity product launches, designer launches and Macy’s Santaland, and was a liaison to Lincoln Center, NYC & Co. and other city institutions. She handled crisis communications during Macy’s controversial profiling cases, union negotiations and protests, as well as special events communications including the parade and fireworks.
Sachse, as chief growth officer, was instrumental in launching Macy’s new Backstage off-price concept and also had responsibility for the Bluemercury beauty division and international expansion. He’s held several top roles, including chief innovation and business development officer, chief stores officer and chief marketing officer. Sources said that at one time Sachse was considered a contender for the ceo job.
Like Sachse, Slavin had a wide range of responsibility. “Because I touched so many areas — entertainment, media, marketing, visual and store design — and had so many different areas of oversight, now for me it’s really about exploring all of them.” She said her next job “could be a company that could tap into many of these facets.”
“I think with the role I had at Macy’s, I have been able to stay relevant,” Slavin said.
She was instrumental in launching several Macy’s private brands, such as Bar lll and Thalia, generating a long list of celebrity endorsements for private brands including Heidi Klum and Iris Apfel for INC.
“After so many years having an incredible relationships with such talented executives in this company, I’m leaving filled with mixed emotions. I am really filled with pride over my accomplishments and for working with the best people in the industry.”