Sophia Hwang-Judiesch has been appointed president of The Bay and Hudson’s Bay, the Canadian e-commerce and store businesses, which are both part of the HBC portfolio.
Hwang-Judiesch had been serving as president of Hudson’s Bay. In her new role, she succeeds Iain Nairn, president and chief executive officer of The Bay, who is retiring this month.
The CEO title is not expected to be filled.
The Bay operates Thebay.com e-commerce in Canada. Hudson’s Bay operates 84 stores in Canada under that banner. In 2021, HBC split Thebay.com and Hudson’s Bay into separate e-commerce and store companies, to drive a “digital-first” agenda, just like it did earlier with its Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th divisions.
According to HBC, Hudson’s Bay and The Bay operate collaboratively to deliver a “seamless customer experience” and The Bay remains responsible overall for shared functions including brand direction, marketing, buying, planning and technology for both businesses.
Hwang-Judiesch was appointed president of Hudson’s Bay in September 2022, leading the store organization, and overseeing the company’s in-store digital selling transformation, customer experience and store optimization strategy. Before joining Hudson’s Bay, she was vice president of strategic initiatives at Ulta Beauty, where she led the build and launch of Beauty@Target. Before that, Hwang-Judiesch was senior vice president at Carter’s Oshkosh, and earlier, she was with Esprit de Corp as China country manager.
Nairn’s retirement culminates a 46-year career in retailing. At The Bay, he oversaw a digital transformation of the business, including the launch of the marketplace format, which brought more than 900 new sellers to Thebay.com. He also launched Hudson’s Bay Foundation Charter for Change, and significantly advanced The Bay’s Truth & Reconciliation work, meeting with communities and building relationships with Indigenous organizations.
“It has been an honor leading The Bay and I am incredibly grateful to the associates that are the engine of The Bay organization,” Nairn said in a statement. “We have achieved some monumental wins together and I know there are many great things yet to come for this iconic retailer.”
Richard Baker, governor and executive chairman of HBC, thanked Nairn for his contributions to The Bay, and added, “As Sophia takes the reins, I’m confident her strategic and operational leadership will help drive performance, grow market share and elevate the customer journey even further.”