Retail Leaders Making Moves

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Stephen Bratspies

HanesBrands Inc. has appointed Stephen Bratspies as CEO and board member, effective Aug. 3. He succeeds Gerald Evans Jr., who previously announced his retirement after 37 years with the company. Most recently, Bratspies served as chief merchandising officer at Walmart Inc. He joined the retail giant in 2005 and held several leadership positions at the company in marketing, dry grocery and general merchandise, including serving as executive VP of food for Walmart U.S., before being appointed as chief merchant in October 2015. Bratspies left Walmart in January 2020 amid a leadership shuffle. Earlier in his career, Bratspies served as chief marketing officer for Specialty Brands, held various management positions at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division, and was a management consultant with A.T. Kearney.

Meanwhile Sprouts Farmers Market has hired another big grocery gun to fill a major executive role in the company. The grocer has hired Walmart's J. Scott Neal to be the company's new chief fresh merchandising officer, effective June 15. Neal will report directly to Sprouts CEO Jack Sinclair and oversee Sprouts’ fresh merchandise offerings.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Scott to the Sprouts team,” Sinclair said. “Scott joins us at the perfect time to leverage his deep experience in fresh merchandising and sourcing as we begin to implement our long-term growth strategy by creating an advantaged fresh supply chain to bring better-for-you options and innovative products to support our customers’ healthy lifestyles.”

Neal brings more than 25 years of retail experience to Sprouts, focused largely on fresh food merchandising. For the past eight years, he has been SVP and general merchandise manager for the fresh food division of Walmart U.S., where he oversaw quality control and merchandising of produce, meat and seafood. Neal worked at Walmart for 24 years, holding such roles as as VP – divisional merchandising manager of the meat division of Walmart U.S. from 2009 to 2011, VP – divisional merchandising manager of the commercial bread and bakery divisions from 2007 to 2009, and VP of international merchandising from 2000 to 2007. Neal has also served as a member of the board of directors of Feeding America since 2016. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Brigham Young University.