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04/02/2021

J.Crew Group Names CIO Among C-Suite Shakeup

J.Crew Group has appointed four retail industry leaders to build out its leadership team responsible for accelerating its approach to building a digital-first, purpose-driven organization under its J.Crew, Madewell, and J.Crew Factory brands.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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J.Crew Group's new CIO Danielle Schmelkin most recently served as CIO of Madewell.

J.Crew Group has appointed four highly experienced retail industry leaders to build out its leadership team in order to advance its long-term strategic growth plan.

Its new chief information officer Danielle Schmelkin most recently served as CIO of Madewell. J.Crew Group operates 143 Madewell stores. Schmelkin is tasked with leading J.Crew Group's digital transformation by maximizing data insights, increasing connectedness and interactivity with customers, driving innovation and fortifying IT architecture. Schmelkin is a recognized technology and digital innovator who brings over 20 years of experience to this position.

In addition, Jose Davila, chief people officer; Derek Yarbrough, chief marketing officer; and Liz Hershfield, SVP Sustainability have been added to J.Crew Group’s senior management team, which is led by CEO Libby Wadle.

The retailer said the team will be integral in accelerating its approach to building a digital-first, purpose-driven organization under its J.Crew, Madewell, and J.Crew Factory brands.

"I believe strong and relevant brands are customer-centric, community-minded, purpose-driven and powered through innovation, technology and a deeply collaborative culture," said Wadle. "Jose, Danielle, Derek and Liz are proven leaders in their respective fields, share our core values, and bring significant expertise as well as a passion for our brands that will drive our business forward."

As chief people officer, Davila will guide J.Crew Group's overall people strategy and execution. Davila, who brings 25 years of talent management and brand-building experience, most recently served as VP of human resources for Levi Strauss & Co., where he oversaw North and South America. Previously, he spent more than ten years at Gap Inc., where he held a series of leadership positions, including head of International human resources, head of human resources for Banana Republic, and VP, human resources for the Gap brand stores organization.

As CMO, Yarbrough is responsible for all marketing, creative, and e-commerce initiatives for the J.Crew and Madewell brands. Derek is a recognized leader in e-commerce, marketing and the fashion industry and brings over 20 years of experience to this newly created position. He spent the previous eight years at Madewell where he played increasingly important roles, and most recently served as the brand's CMO.

In the newly created role of SVP, sustainability, Hershfield leads sustainability innovation for the J.Crew, Madewell and J.Crew Factory brands. She will focus on driving a company-wide sustainability agenda that will maximize positive impact and position the J.Crew Group as a leader in sustainable retail. She will continue to oversee Sourcing for Madewell as well as this new role and brings over 25 years of experience and deep knowledge of sourcing and sustainability to the position.

These leaders are part of a strong management team which includes Michael Nicholson, chief operating officer and Vincent Zanna, chief financial officer.

J.Crew Group also announced the following appointments to its board of directors:

  • Frits Dirk van Paasschen, a seasoned global executive who spent more than a decade as a Fortune 500 CEO, first at The Coors Brewing Company and then at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Previously, he held several management positions at Nike, ultimately becoming Nike's president of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He currently serves on the board of directors of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and Royal DSM.
  • Anna Fieler, a transformative technology executive and investor who founded and currently runs Madison Park Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in technology companies that advance well-being, connection and productivity. Previously, she was CMO of PopSugar. She currently serves on the board of directors of Shake Shack Inc. and Quinstreet, Inc.
  • Nadia Rawlinson, a global human resources executive who currently serves as the chief people officer at Slack. Previously, she was the chief human resources officer at Live Nation Entertainment and Rakuten USA and she also served as co-head of Global Human Resources of Groupon. She was recognized by Black Enterprises Magazine as one of the 'Most Powerful Women in Corporate America' and as one of the '300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America' in 2019 and 2018, respectively. Nadia also serves on the board of directors of Vail Resorts, Inc.