Movers & Shakers: Burberry, CVS Health, Red Lobster lose leaders

Welcome to Movers & Shakers, a roundup of executive leadership role changes in the retail industry.
Marco Gobbetti
Marco Gobbetti

Burberry Seeks New CEO after Leader Jumps Ship to Competitor


Luxury brand Burberry is seeking a new CEO after Marco Gobbetti announced he will leave his role at the helm at the end of 2021. 

Gobbetti, who led Burberry’s turnaround, is taking the role of CEO and director of Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian luxury goods company, Chain Store Age reported. Gobbetti took on the role of CEO at Burberry in 2017 after spending 13 years as CEO of french fashion houses Givenchy and Celine with LVMH. 

Burberry has already begun its search for a new CEO, with Gobbetti working with Chairman Gerry Murphy to provide support to the executive leadership team on an orderly transition, CSA reported.

“Marco, who has led the transformation of Burberry's brand and business, will be stepping down after nearly five years with the company to take up another opportunity that will enable him to return to Italy and be closer to his family," Burberry stated.

See the full story at Chain Store Age.

George Coleman
George Coleman

CVS Health’s SVP of Merchandising Moves On


George Coleman, senior vice president of merchandising as CVS Health, is stepping down from his role, Drug Store News reported.

Coleman, who cited choosing to be with his wife in Italy as his reason for departing, will leave his role in July.

“I'm writing to inform you that I am leaving CVS Health in early July. It’s not an easy decision, but it’s a decision driven by my heart. Many of you are familiar with my story. Three years ago I married my wife, an Italian citizen,” Coleman wrote in a letter. “Despite our best attempts, we’ve been unable to consistently live together in the United States. We’ve spent the last three years hopping back and forth across the Atlantic for extended stays and visits, but we’re married and want to be with each other every day. One of the silver linings of the pandemic was that I was able to work from Europe and shift my workday to accommodate an East Coast schedule, but that’s not a sustainable approach to balancing my personal and professional life.”

Coleman joined CVS in 2012 as vice president of merchandising before taking on the senior role in 2019. Prior to that, Coleman served as a partner with Accenture’s retail strategy consulting practice for more than 15 years and also spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. 

“It’s been a tough choice to make, especially given the timing of Neela Montgomery’s arrival as president of CVS Pharmacy,” Coleman said. “Neela’s fantastic, and I firmly believe she’s the right person to lead our retail organization into the future. Her background in e-commerce and omnichannel is exactly what we need. I know she’s looking forward to spending time getting to know you now as we ease back into a normal business environment.”

Coleman also noted that Montgomery is looking for his replacement and thanked the company and his team.

See the full story at Drug Store News.

Kim Lopdrup
Kim Lopdrup

Red Lobster CEO Steps Down


The CEO of Red Lobster, Kim Lopdrup, is stepping down to retire. 

The executive announced his plan but will stay in the role until the seafood chain restaurant finds his successor. Lopdrup has led the company for the last 14 years and brought Red Lobster through three turnarounds. Under ownership of Darden Restaurants, Lopdrup carried Red Lobster through a turnaround between 2004 and 2011. Upon becoming an independent company in 2014, Red Lobster again went through a turnaround with Lopdrop as CEO. And he led the company through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic is finally winding down, and Red Lobster has emerged with the best menu we've ever had, vastly improved off-premise systems, a stronger business model and over 10 million members in our award-winning loyalty program, My Red Lobster Rewards,” Lopdrup said in a statement. “We have great initiatives in the pipeline and a terrific leadership team in place. I'm confident we are well-positioned to attract an outstanding new CEO who can lead Red Lobster to greatness over the next generation."

Red Lobster has engaged The Elliot Group to search for a new CEO, Chain Store Age reported. Upon retirement, Lopdrup will remain on the boards of Wawa, Bob Evans Restaurants and Kalera, a hydroponic vertical farming company where he will serve as the next chairman.

See the full story at Chain Store Age.