HBC names Helena Foulkes as new CEO
The Hudson Bay Company’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of CVS Health veteran Helena Foulkes as the company’s new CEO on Monday.
In her new position, Foulkes will be responsible for HBC’s global strategy and operations across all of the company’s brands, and will oversee more than 66,000 employees spread over more than 480 stores. She will also supervise all related logistics, technology, supply chains and e-commerce platforms.
Foulkes replaces interim CEO Richard Baker, who took over after the abrupt departure of Gerald Storch last October and will continue at the company as Governor and Executive Chairman.
In a release, Baker commented, “Throughout her 25 year tenure in retail, she has a proven track record of making bold, strategic choices that, at their core, put the customer first and have proven enormously impactful to business success.”
Foulkes, in turn, stated, “HBC has an amazing portfolio of retail banners, valuable real estate and an innovative approach to M&A that give it the ability to win. The future of retail will be defined by companies that think creatively about where the consumer and the world are headed,” explaining that she hoped to develop “strategies that capitalize on HBC's physical and digital assets and deepen our core operating effectiveness.”
Foulkes brings 25 years of experience with CVS Health to her new role, having served as the company’s Executive Vice President and President of CVS Pharmacy. In this last position, which she held from January 2014, Foulkes was in charge of the retail pharmacy chain’s strategic vision, coordinating its 9,700 stores and 20 distribution centers, as well as its e-commerce sites, supply chain, marketing and real estate.
During her time at CVS Health, the Harvard graduate also spearheaded a number of initiatives including the company’s push to become a recognized leader in the healthcare industry, its discontinuation of tobacco products and the creation of CVS digital.
Prior to CVS, Foulkes worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Tiffany & Co., and has also been recognized with a number of professional accolades, such as being included in the Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business list and named as one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business.
Toronto-based HBC is a global retailer with a portfolio of banners that spans North America and Europe, and includes Hudson's Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt, Saks OFF 5TH, Germany’s Galeria Kaufhof and Belgium’s Galeria INNO. The company also has significant investments in real estate joint ventures in the United States, Canada and Germany.
HBC’s shares fell almost 17% last year as, along with the rest of the retail sector, the company has been suffering from a slump in sales as consumers head online. The Canadian company posted a larger-than-expected quarterly loss last December, with consolidated sales down 3.2% on a comparable basis.
Foulkes’ appointment is effective February 19, 2018, when she will also join the company’s Board of Directors.
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