Top marketing executives at both Macy’s and Kohl’s announced their resignations Tuesday. After more than three decades at Macy’s, Chief Marketing Officer Martine Reardon is leaving the company, the retailer said. Ms. Reardon was promoted to the CMO post four years ago. Her last day with the 870-store chain will be May 13.
Separately, Will Setliff, exec VP-marketing at Menomonee, Wisc.-based Kohl’s is leaving the company this week.
One of Ad Age’s Women to Watch in 2009, Ms. Reardon began her career in the special events department at Abraham & Strauss in Brooklyn, which was then part of Federated Department Stores. Federated acquired Macy’s in 1994 and Ms. Reardon was promoted multiple times within Macy’s marketing department.
“I am extremely proud of the work that I have led in building Macy’s into an international omnichannel brand,” said Ms. Reardon in a statement. “We have established a clear and compelling brand promise rooted in fashion, entertainment, pop culture, value and newness, and opened potential new avenues for growth.” She noted that she will be “taking time for me now.”
Ms. Reardon was responsible for celebrity-themed campaigns featuring the likes of Martha Stewart and Ryan Seacrest. Partnering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, she also led the holiday “Believe” campaign, which passed its eight-year mark this past holiday season. Macy’s began working with J. Walter Thompson on “Believe” in 2007 and has worked with the agency on the campaign’s subsequent iterations. Ms. Reardon has shepherded Macy’s longtime relationship with JWT, which is currently embroiled in a sexual harassment lawsuit with its former chief communications officer.
A company spokeswoman noted that Macy’s has no upcoming projects with the agency right now and reiterated that the retailer has worked with JWT on a project basis for some time.
According to a company spokesman, the brand’s 2016 marketing plans are “already well under way.”
Macy’s, which generated sales of more than $27 billion last year, is currently searching for Ms. Reardon’s replacement. It spent $834.3 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2014, according to Ad Age’s Datacenter, and is the second largest spender in the retail category in the country after Walmart.
Kohl’s Marketer Departs
Mr. Setliff, the Kohl’s marketer behind such recent and innovative initiatives as sponsorship of the Oscars and a corresponding digitally-led campaign, joined the retailer in early 2014. He reported to Michelle Gass, who was promoted to chief merchandising and customer officer last year. The chain has been without a Chief Marketing Officer since late 2012.
“We thank Will for his many contributions to Kohl’s during his service and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said a company spokeswoman. Kohl’s has begun an external search for Mr. Setliff’s replacement. The 1,166-store chain spent $320.1 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Ad Age’s Datacenter.