Michael Crotty, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the Hudson’s Bay Co., is leaving the company, WWD has learned.

The departure comes in the wake of HBC consolidations triggered last fall, when the Toronto-based retailer said that it was cutting 265 non-customer facing positions to save $75 million annually, and that it had formed three “centers of excellence” for customer relationship management [CRM], creative and human resource functions. Each center serves Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Saks Off 5th. They’re headed by Mark Briggs for creative, Dan Caspersen for human resources, and Aaron Shockey for CRM. HBC is not expected to fill the cmo slot.

“As HBC moves into more centralized centers of excellence for key functions — such as marketing — across its banners, Michael has made the decision to pursue other opportunities,” an HBC spokesman told WWD.

Crotty joined HBC in fall 2013 and headed the marketing efforts at the Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor department store chains, including working on advertising campaigns, CRM, partnerships and other areas.

He’s well known in fashion and retail circles, having held top marketing jobs at Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, prior to HBC, and compiling more than 27 years’ experience in multichannel retailing, marketing and brand management.

Crotty is credited with injecting some life into Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay where the imagery has sometimes been perceived as staid, and with formulating marketing messages that balanced aggressive price promoting with a fashion perspective. He was also instrumental in intensifying digital marketing, and in launching some forward-thinking partnerships such as with beacon technology. Outside retailing, Crotty is an equestrian and jumps competitively.

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