The Micky Onvural era at Bonobos is coming to an end.
The chief executive officer of the men’s wear brand has revealed on her LinkedIn account that she will be leaving the company on Thursday to join TIAA, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America — College Retirement Equities Fund, a financial services organization that works in the academic, research, medical, cultural and governmental fields, as chief marketing officer.
David Sasson, chief operating officer and financial officer of Bonobos, will lead the company until a successor is named, according to the company. “People are what makes Bonobos the special place that it is, and we’re greatly appreciative for the company’s success under her leadership. We wish her the best with her next endeavor,” Bonobos said in a statement Tuesday.
Onvural, a U.K. native, spent most of her career in marketing at brands such as Kellogg’s, eBay and Trulia and joined Bonobos as chief marketing officer in 2016. “I took a leap of faith. I moved my family to New York to work in an industry I had no experience in, but from my very first conversations it was clear to me that there was magic in the Bonobos DNA. Little did I know where that leap of faith would take me — to become the CEO in late 2018 — and little did I know what we would be able to create together.”
When Bonobos was acquired by Walmart Inc. in 2017 for $310 million and cofounder Andy Dunn became head of digital brands for the mega-retailer, Onvural stepped up to CEO. Dunn has since departed Walmart and works with entrepreneurs on start-ups in different industries, according to his LinkedIn page.
In her post, Onvural said the decision to leave Bonobos comes with “many mixed emotions. I am excited about what is to come next; I am sad to leave behind the people and culture that I love, and I am also incredibly proud of all that we have built together over the last five years.”
She cited the technology and systems improvements that were made during her tenure, as well as the brick-and-mortar stores that were opened and the products and marketing campaigns that were created. But she said she believes the company’s “greatest achievement — and the one I am most proud of — is that Bonobos has found its voice.”
She included a message she received from an employee that said she had “injected Bonobos with spirit — a soul. Your fearlessness when it comes to being loud and proud about where we stood on social issues, making things like diversity and inclusion our focus (sometimes at the risk of how it might impact business) made me feel like I was waking up every day with a true purpose outside of just driving revenue.”
Onvural said moving to a job in the retirement space “may seem surprising” at first glance, however, she singled out TIAA’s purpose to “empower teachers to create a better financial future for themselves and their families” as key to her decision.
Dunn and Brian Spaly created Bonobos in 2007 as a direct-to-consumer men’s pant brand. It has since expanded into a variety of categories and now has two outlets and 61 Guideshops, or physical stores where its products could be tried on and ordered and then shipped to customers.