Gary Muto, president and CEO of Ascena Brands

Justin MacFarlane has been named executive vice president, chief customer officer of Ascena Retail Group, a new post, effective Dec. 2.

In addition, Marisa Baldwin has been promoted to executive vice president, chief human resources officer, effective immediately. She succeeds John Pershing who left last June.

Both MacFarlane and Baldwin report to Gary Muto, chief executive officer of Ascena, whose brands include Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey, Lane Bryant, Catherines, Cacique, Dressbarn and Justice.

“Ascena has gone through a transformative year in fiscal 2019, making pivotal changes to position our company to deliver profitable growth and strengthen our focus on our customers. We are pleased with the progress we have made to date and Justin’s and Marisa’s appointments to these new roles will help support the continued execution of our strategy,” said Muto.

Muto noted that MacFarlane has a successful track record of executing at the intersection of the customer experience, including digital, in-store, technology, analytics and marketing strategy. “As chief customer officer, Justin fills a vital role within our executive leadership team and will provide a clear vision for all aspects of the customer experience,” said Muto.

Justin MacFarland

Justin MacFarland  Courtesy Photo

Most recently, MacFarlane was chief strategy, analytics and innovation officer at Macy’s Inc., where he was responsible for Macy’s strategic development, customer insight, data analytics, innovation, pricing, replenishment and the food and lease businesses. Earlier, he served in various leadership roles at Ann Inc., as well as Alix Partners and Kurt Salmon Associates.

Muto noted that Baldwin brings more than 25 years of experience to her new position. She will oversee the ongoing building of the company’s culture and the development of its talent.

Baldwin joined Ascena in 2009 and has held roles of increasing leadership within human resources. In 2015, she was promoted to senior vice president,  human resources for Ascena’s Premium Fashion Segment (previously Ann Inc.) and since then has led various departments within human resources, including talent strategy, communications and charitable giving. Earlier, she worked in leadership roles in human resources at Starbucks and Diageo, North America.

Marisa Baldwin

Marisa Baldwin  Courtesy Photo


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