Dick’s Sporting Goods’ hiring of Scott Hudler, formerly of Dunkin’ Brands, as SVP and chief marketing officer comes on top of a number of exec changes earlier in the year and underscores the sporting goods chain’s continued commitment to its omnichannel push.
At Dunkin’ Brands for the last 11 years, Hudler was most recently SVP and chief digital officer for the parent of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. At Dick’s, his responsibilities will include marketing and consumer engagement strategy but his digital expertise will be counted on.
“Scott will play a pivotal role in driving our continued digital transformation across all consumer touch points and optimizing all of our marketing channels,” said Dick’s President Lauren Hobart. “His experience will make an immediate impact on our team, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Dick’s family.”
The hiring follows a series of leadership changes announced in May, including the departure of COO André Hawaux and the promotion of Hobart to president.
Hobart was hired by Dick’s 2011 as SVP and chief marketing officer after 14 years at Pepsi in marketing roles. She was promoted to EVP, chief marketing officer in 2015, with responsibility over Dick’s, Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream marketing. Most recently she served as EVP, chief customer and digital officer. Hobart also serves as president of The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation.
She has been credited with driving growth online and through in-house brands like Carrie Underwood’s Calia label.
At the same time Hobart was promoted, Keri Jones joined the company as EVP, chief merchant. She held a variety of leadership positions at Target Corp, including VP, general merchandising manager of toys and sporting goods, senior vice president of health and beauty, EVP of merchandising planning and operations, and most recently as EVP of global supply chain.
Don Germano, who led the company’s stores organization from 2010 through 2013, also re-joined Dick’s on May 30, 2017 as SVP, operations. Germano, most recently president of the Follett Higher Education Group, will lead the company’s stores organization, including store leadership, environment and operations.
On its first-quarter conference call on May 16, Ed Stack, CEO, said the company would be taking further actions, including the layoff of 160 jobs, to reduce its expense structure as results came in well-below targets in a challenging retail climate. The layoffs primarily came from the elimination of positions primarily at its store support center. The company also announced it was planning to pull back expansion due to expectations of significantly lower rents arriving in the years ahead.
A bright spot in the quarter was seen as the successful long-planned relaunch of Dicks.com on a proprietary web platform on January 29.
Stack stressed that despite reports in the financial community, the resignation of Hawaux is “actually a real retirement.” He added, “Andre has been at this a long time, he has done a great job, he has got a new grandchild, he wants to spend time with his family and retirement sometimes really is retirement and this is one of those times.”
Still, Stack said Hobart’s “digital experience and marketing experience” will help position Dick’s for the changing retail landscape. She will continue lead the company’s customer and digital efforts overseeing marketing, e-commerce and Dick’s Team Sports HQ and will also be responsible for its store organization.
Stack said Jones, formerly Target’s EVP of global supply chain, will be responsible for the strategy and execution of merchandising, product development and merchandise planning, as well as allocation and replenishment. Stack had been handling merchandising and he expected Jones and himself will “work very, very closely together going forward.”
He said the new structure overall reflects that the business has become “more complicated” between with the flagship Dick’s business now joining Field & Stream, the larger Golf Galaxy business with the additional Golfsmith stores and Team Sports HQ.
“It’s a very exciting time here and we’re pretty excited about what’s going on in this business and it will give me the opportunity to take a broader view of the business as opposed to being just focused primarily from a merchandising standpoint as I thought I have been in the past,” Stack told analysts.
Photo courtesy Dick’s Sporting Goods